Croatia has developed digital skills, but not enough experts

Although Croatian citizens have developed digital skills, without increasing the number of ICT experts, Croatian companies cannot use the full potential of digital transformation.

3 min to read
Written by: Nataša Blagojević

The European Commission declared this decade Europe’s Digital Decade, and the ambitious goals of digital and green transformation are based on the development of digital knowledge, skills and innovation in all member countries. The annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) report is one of the indicators which, since 2014, indicates situation in the entire EU on this matter. According to this year’s report, among the 27 EU member states, Croatia is in 21st place, which is actually two places lower compared to the previous one. The European Commission nevertheless assesses the overall progress of our country as positive, and below we present the most important indicators of the development of digital skills and technologies in Croatia.

 

Photo: Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) report for 2022.


Source: European Commission


We do not have enough ICT experts

In the category of human capital, we are in a high 9th place in the EU, and we are above the European average in digital skills in several areas. In Croatia, 63% of citizens aged 16 to 74 have at least a basic level of digital skills (EU average is 54%) and 31% of citizens have digital skills at a level higher than basic (EU average is 26%). 81% of Croats have at least a basic level of digital content creation skills, which is also significantly better than the EU average of 66%).

Although compared to the EU we have a higher number of highly educated people with a diploma in the field of information and communication technologies, one of the problems on the labor market is the relatively small percentage of the workforce that consists of ICT specialists, which is also lower than the EU average (3, 6% versus 4.5%). A very large number of Croatian companies that employs or is looking for ICT experts has difficulties in finding proper candidates (68%). At the same time, 23% of Croatian companies offer their employees training in the field of ICT, which is higher than the European average. It is positive that we have a slightly higher number of female experts in this field (21%) than the average in the EU (19%).

Advanced digital technologies are becoming increasingly popular

When it comes to the integration of digital technology, Croatia ranks 14th among EU member states. 50% of Croatian small and medium enterprises have at least a basic level of digital intensity, which is below the EU average of 55%. Interestingly and in line with green trends in business, the situation is much better when it comes to the use of digital technology for environmental sustainability. 75% of Croatian companies use information and communication technology for the purpose of environmental sustainability, compared to the EU average of 66%.

Croatian companies are also successfully using the advantages of online business. 29% of small and medium-sized enterprises sell their products and services on the Internet (above the EU average of 18%), of which 13% sell cross-border, and 13% of their turnover is generated in the online sales segment.

Advanced technologies are becoming more and more popular among Croatian companies. 35% of them apply cloud solutions in their business, 43% use e-invoices and 9% use technologies based on artificial intelligence. For all three mentioned indicators, we achieve better results than the EU average. There is room for progress in the use of big data technologies and artificial intelligence.

 

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