At eight per cent, businesses in Bulgaria have the lowest rate of use of cloud computing services in the European Union, while the country also ranks among the lowest in big data analysis and 3D printer usage.
This emerged from figures released by EU statistics agency Eurostat on December 13.
Significant differences can be observed across countries in regards to cloud computing usage, Eurostat said.
More than half of enterprises in Finland (65 per cent), Sweden (57 per cent) and Denmark (56 per cent) used cloud computing. At the opposite end of the scale, cloud computing services were used by 10 per cent or fewer enterprises in Bulgaria (eight per cent) and Romania (10 per cent).
In 2018, 26 per cent of EU enterprises with at least 10 persons employed purchased cloud computing services.
Cloud computing usage grew rapidly over the last few years, as in 2014 it stood at 19 per cent and in 2016 at 21 per cent.
Large enterprises use cloud computing much more (56 per cent of enterprises employing 250 persons or more) than small ones (23 per cent of enterprises employing 10 to 49 persons).
Over the past four years (between 2014 and 2018), the highest increase in cloud computing usage was observed in large enterprises (+21 percentage points), compared with +12pp in medium sized enterprises and +6pp in small enterprises.
In 2018, enterprises used cloud computing mostly for e-mail (69 per cent of enterprises that used cloud computing), closely followed by the storage of files in electronic form in a cloud (68 per cent). Enterprises less frequently purchased computing power to run the enterprise’s own software (23 per cent), or used CRM software applications over the cloud for managing information about customers (29 per cent).
In recent years, the quantity of digital data created, stored and processed in the world has grown exponentially, Eurostat said.
Each activity conducted online or by using information and communication technologies generates series of digital imprints which, given their volume, variety and velocity, are referred to as ‘big data’.
In the EU, 12 per cent of enterprises with at least 10 persons employed reported analysing big data. Such analyses are predominantly done by large (33 per cent) and medium sized (19 per cent) enterprises, and carried out by internal staff (8 per cent) or by external service providers (5 per cent).
Among EU member states, the largest shares of enterprises analysing big data were observed in Malta (24 per cent), the Netherlands (22 per cent), Belgium and Ireland (both 20 per cent). The smallest shares were noted in Cyprus (five per cent), Hungary and Austria (both six per cent), Bulgaria and Italy (both seven7 per cent).
In the EU, four per cent of enterprises with at least 10 people employed used 3D printing in 2018.
In large enterprises, the share of 3D printer usage stood at 13 per cent compared with three per cent in small enterprises.
The largest shares of enterprises using 3D printing in 2018 were observed in Finland (seven per cent), Denmark, Malta, the United Kingdom and Belgium (all six per cent). The smallest shares were reported by enterprises in Cyprus and Latvia (both one per cent), followed by Estonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Poland (all two per cent).
More than half of enterprises that used 3D printing used this technology for prototypes or models for internal use (57 per cent).
Less than one third used 3D printing for prototypes or models for sale (32 per cent) or for goods to be used in the enterprise’s production process (27 per cent). Only 17 per cent used 3D printing for goods other than prototypes or models to be sold, Eurostat said.