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The digital journey, an opportunity for France

August 31, 2014

Growth can be doubled

Digital transformation remains a race to stay competitive. In general, the EU has been well positioned to benefit from digitization—but is every country keeping pace? In our new study produced for Google in cooperation with Cap Digital, we analyze just how far French businesses have come in making these developments their own. It looks at a number of factors to assess the economic and social impact of digital transformation in France, and uses them to present an original digital maturity index for businesses.

With 500 businesses and 50 individual employees forming the respondent pool, its principal conclusion is that digitally mature companies are much more prosperous than their less advanced counterparts—six times more so. There is perhaps an explanation for this prosperity gap; the study also found that while 57% of French companies stated that digital transformation was a medium-term priority, only 36% have a formalized digital strategy. Considering that 1 in 6 French people shop online, and yet only 1 in 10 companies offer this service, there is already considerable evidence for untapped markets and unrealized growth.

The benefits go beyond pure numbers, however. Employees at more digitally advanced companies report feeling more comfortable in their professional settings, with index levels of professional wellbeing 50% higher than in the less advanced ones. Digital companies already understand that employees are their biggest source of innovation—as well as the value of that investment. In fact, our study shows that accelerating transformation could lead French enterprises to double their growth rates.

Promoting digital conversion in companies

Although French companies are aware of the need to change, many are slow to implement it. Cost and uncertainty of a return on investment featured as the principal barriers, as is internal resistance to change. Our study puts forward several recommendations for promoting digital conversion in companies, from starting the transformation in marketing, to setting up a partnering logic to create a digital eco-system around. Whatever the path, large companies will need to take the lead and sweep others along on the digital journey.


The digital journey, an opportunity for France


Leapfrogging to transformation

Published August 2014. Available in