Last year, I worked with the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research ‘ΙΟΒΕ‘ and Google for a study to analyze the bariers that prevent the wider use of the Internet in Greece. The study also illustrates with examples and analysis the opportunities of the medium for businesses, citizens and the public sector. It was released last week in a press conference with more than 100 participants from the press and companies of the sector. The publication of the report drew the attention of many local information providers that covered (some extrensively) the event. A small list includes [adslgr.com] [kerdos.gr] [pathfinder.gr] [efsyn.gr].
Although Internet diffusion in Greece dramatically improved in the last years, it still falls behind the expectations and the European averages. In particular, the stats for consumers and small businesses (establishments with less than 10 employees) are substantially lower compared to EU27. The analysis identifies and explains 5 key factors that contribure, to a lesser or greater extent to the situation:
- Limited commercial trust and concerns about the secutiry of commercial transactions
- Social factors including among others low confidence in using efficiently a second language and climate conditions – with more than 250 sunny cloudless days per year, Greeks still prefer outdoor activities
- Low quality of the electronic services currently provided by the Greek online businesses
- Complex and time consuming processes and procedures
- Concerns about intellectual property rights (for businesses) and privacy issues (for consumers)
The study also discusses the opportunities stemming from the wider use of the Internet, considering three key properties of the medium: transparency, simplicity, accessibility. It also supports the findings with case studies from various sectors of the Internet market and offfers recomendations for consumers businesses and the public sector.
The study is available from
IOBE and Google. Update: here.