The sector service providers of the information society, comprising both knowledge-intensive and ICT-specialised service providers, has been highly innovative over the past twelve months. Around 40 percent of the companies have differentiated their range of services by, for instance, changing their service hours or by complementing their services. Around 39 percent have extended their range of services by, for instance, developing new customer circles and market segments. Moreover, 18 percent of the companies have standardised their range of services. This is the result of a survey among service providers of the information society conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, in cooperation with the credit reference agency Creditreform, Neuss, in June 2009 (details regarding the survey are provided below).

For service providers of the information society, innovation activities are essential in order to maintain competitiveness. However, the incentives for innovation derive from various sources. "In almost all companies from the branches involved in the survey, which were innovative during the past twelve months, the most important initiator of innovation activities was the internal management," says Jenny Meyer, researcher at the ZEW.

"The second most important source for changes in the range of services were the customers with their wishes and suggestions as well as the internal staff, each with around 57 percent of the companies." For around 50 percent of the companies, the development of the market and competitors were incentives for the innovations during this period. This is true except for advertising companies, architects and ICT-specialised traders, which were innovative during the past twelve months. In their case, competitors and market observations were the second most important source for innovations. Around 68 percent of the advertising companies, around 61 percent of architects and around 68 percent of the ICT-specialised traders took their incentives for changes in their range of services from these sources. However, changes in legislation only play a subordinate part as an incentive for innovation activities. Changes in legislation mostly influenced architects (around 35 percent) as well as technical consultants and planners (around 36 percent) in changing their range of services.

The business survey by ZEW/Creditreform

Approximately 1,000 companies participate in the survey, which is conducted on a quarterly basis. The economic sector of information society service providers consists of information and communications technology (ICT) service providers (firms active in the software, ICT specialised trade, IT and telecommunications industries) and knowledge-intensive service providers (firms active in tax consulting and auditing, management consulting, architecture, technical consulting and planning, research and development as well as advertising). An overview of the ZEW/Creditreform business survey is provided on the ZEW project site. For further information in German language only, please consult our homepage at www.zew.de/dienstleister.

Note on statistical projections

The Centre for European Economic Research generates a representative analysis for the surveyed sector based on the answers provided by the participating firms.

Contact

Dr. Jenny Meyer, E-mail: meyer@zew.de

Date

13.07.2009

Contact

Press Officer

Phone: +49 0621 1235-133

sabine.elbert@zew.de