High angle view of technicians working in server room. | © Erik Isakson/Getty Images
Vibrant Heart of Europe’s Digital Landscape
With 84% of the German population (around 63 million) using the internet on a regular basis, Germany boasts the most internet users in Europe. This significant digital economy customer base is also coupled with the highest total purchasing power in Europe (EUR 1,968 billion), making Germany a crucial player in the global digital economy. In line with the rest of Germany’s stable economy, the internet economy has faced no downturn from the European economic crisis.
In 2017, Germany’s internet economy recorded revenue of more than EUR 119 billion. There are more than 97,000 IT companies in Germany, employing more than 1.1 million IT professionals. This steady growth is allowing the German internet economy to establish itself as a major force in Europe’s strongest economy.
A significant feature of the German economy is the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These companies represent 99.95% of all German companies (around 3.67 million) and employ another 68% of the working population (29.1 million). These companies are best characterized by heavy investment and sustained technological and market innovation – features that have allowed them to become world leaders in a number of important industries and niche markets.
These SMEs also trained more than 1.2 million young adults (89% of all trainees). A strong commitment to investment and innovation has also allowed these businesses to perform well in the internet economy, leading to a high level of diversification and a vibrant digital ecosystem where dominant industry giants are few. This leads to an environment with few barriers to entry, allowing new and innovative start-ups – or “smart-ups” – the opportunity to enter this ever-growing industry.