This week in Madrid, the ‘2013 EPYME REPORT. A SECTORIAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ICT IN SPANISH SMEs’ was presented, prepared by Fundetec and the Spanish Observatory of Telecommunications and the Information Society (ONTSI) of This report analyses the availability to and the use of technological tools by micro-enterprises and SMEs in ten sectorial groups, which represents 74.5% of the Spanish business fabric. Here is a summary:

Quantitative analysis

According to the report, 71.7% of micro-enterprises had a computer in 2013, with a year-on-year growth of barely 4 tenths, and access to the Internet has grown by 5 tenths to reach 65.7%. According to sectors, these tools which have had more repercussion are computing, telecommunications and audiovisual services, and the sector of professional, scientific and technical activities, with percentages close to 100% and very minor differences between micro-entities and SMEs, and large-sized firms. For yet another year, we find, contrarily, a very large separation between the transport/storage and retail sectors. The sector in which the presence of a computer and the Internet has grown the most is the vehicles sales and the vehicles repairs sectors, with increases of 6.7% and 10.2%, respectively.

Having a corporate web site has also grown slightly by 8 tenths among micro-entities to reach 29.4%, but those that have the most repercussion (74.6%) are hotels, camp sites and travel agencies. The impact of the mobile phone sector was somewhat greater as it exceeds computers by almost 3 percentage points, which is present in 74.6% of micro-enterprises (with 1.2 percentage points more than in 2012).

As previously indicated, mobile broadband has grown substantially and is present in 56.8% of micro-enterprises, of which the computing, telecommunications and audiovisual services sectors stand out (74.5%), followed by transport and storage (66.7%) and wholesale trade (63.4%). The construction sector has grown the most with 21.1 percentage points. It is also worth stressing the considerable increase in the use of social networks, whose presence in micro-enterprises has almost tripled, from 9% in 2012 to 26.5% in 2013, which is at least 3 percentage points in front of SMEs and large-sized companies.

In this edition of the ePyme Report a novel aspect has been to introduce the presence of cloud computing solutions in Spanish companies into the study. Its presence in most of the sectors analysed is quite poor, with a 12% average in micro-enterprises and 19.8% in SMEs and large-sized companies. The exception lies in the computing, telecommunications and audiovisual services sectors, where its presence in micro-enterprises exceeds that in SMEs and large-sized companies by 2 percentage points, and reaches 51.4%.

Conclusions and recommendations

One of the conclusions drawn from the 2013 ePyme Report is that the digital divide between micro-entities and SMEs, as far as basic technologies like computers, the Internet and mobile phones are concerned, tends to narrow. Yet this phenomenon becomes even more relevant in other technologies like web sites. In fact, only two of the sectors analysed (firstly computing, telecommunications and audiovisual services, and secondly hotels, camp sites and travel agencies) have met the target of 55% of the micro-enterprises with a web site set by Agenda Digital for Spain by the year 2015.

Among the main causes of the digital divide, the report goes on to cite the economic crisis, which has meant fewer investments made in technology, and the persistent lack of staff with training in technology, which particularly affects micro-enterprises. Training in ICT is one of the main claims made by various sectors to the Public Administrations and to technology providers, along with adapting ICT solutions to specific requirements in each sector, and the availability of financial support to make investments in training and in adopting technology.

In addition, if last year cloud computing technologies were stated to be a possible alternative to traditional forms of implementing ICT infrastructure into companies, thanks to their low-cost and rapid deployment, it has been possible this year to verify that they are far from becoming an obvious reality. Despite the advantages they offer, businesspeople are reluctant to use them because they not only have very little knowledge about them, but also because of their reserve to host their corporate data in servers who they have no control over.