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The Go Digital Awareness Campaign 2001-2003: The main lessons to be learnt
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by EU, DG for Enterprise 16 the future of ICT


In order to make Europe the world’s most dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010, a goal set by the Lisbon Summit in March 2000, the productivity gains related to e-business must be reaped not only by larger enterprises but also by the many small and medium sized enterprises in Europe, the SMEs. However, to fully engage them in e-business has proved difficult, due to relatively high investment in both information and communication technologies (ICT), lack of technical and managerial skills and the readiness to network with other enterprises. As a result, a large number of SMEs remain reluctant to use advanced forms of e-business, which go beyond being connected to the Internet and having their own website.

As a follow-up to the eEurope 2002 initiative, the Commission’s services launched, in March 2001, the “Go Digital initiative” with the objective of better preparing SMEs to take their first steps into e-business. The overall objective of the Go Digital Action Plan was to “encourage SMEs to 'Go Digital' through co-ordinated networking activities for the exchange of knowledge on best practice, e-commerce readiness and benchmarking ‘reference centers’ to help SMEs to introduce e-commerce into their business strategies”.

As part of the Go Digital initiative, Directorate General Enterprise launched in 2001/2002 a specific “Go Digital Awareness Campaign”, with the following objectives:

  • To identify still existing practical barriers faced by SMEs in e-business;
  • To get feedback on the best strategies that will help SMEs overcome these obstacles;
  • To liaise with regional and national e-business policy initiatives;
  • To disseminate best practices and showcases to the SMEs on using e-business;
This report presents the main lessons to be learnt from this awareness campaign. It should be noted that it is not the aim of this report to either provide an evaluation of the Go Digital awareness campaign or to fully assess its impact. The analysis is mainly based on the final reports provided by the partners, who organised the Go Digital awareness events, with financial support from Directorate General Enterprise.

The full report is available: click here

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