Prof. Norbert Pohlmann (Institut für Internet-Sicherheit)
Internet Industry in Germany 2020 to 2025
Since 2008, the eco Association and Arthur D. Little have been coming together to analyse the developments of the Internet industry in Germany. Over the past five years, the industry has repeatedly thrown light on just how massive and successful its development dynamics are.
In this time, the IT industry recorded an annual growth rate of more than 10 percent. This was a trend that the last study from 2015 had forecast with a high degree of accuracy, with this prediction based on an Internet industry model which has since been further developed.
In 2020, this growth spurt could have been continued or even further accelerated – a pace of development that the entire Internet industry was probably banking on. But the global Covid-19 pandemic has also hit the IT industry. As the present study shows, despite a discernible upswing in
digitalisation, the Internet industry as a whole is expected to experience a 1.2 percent decline in revenue in 2020, owing to slumps in certain large segments which are largely contingent on the overall economic situation. A
damper on the digital decade? Definitely not!
The figures of the new study make it clear that the current crisis is far from being a cause for despair: Even in 2020, the Internet industry in Germany is expected to generate around 145 billion Euro and will recover quickly in most areas after the initial “Corona shock”. And not only that:
By 2025, revenues are expected to have increased by almost 75 percent to approximately 253 billion Euro.
What’s more, at that point, around half a million people in Germany will then be employed in the Internet industry.
In 2019, the Internet industry accounted for 4.2 percent of German gross domestic product (GDP). In 2025, the GDP will be significantly higher at a probable 7 percent.
The Internet industry is therefore gaining increasing importance for the economy as a whole.
This is a prognosis that we should keep in mind, especially in these times: Despite a global pandemic that is affecting almost all areas of life, in the long term, the Internet industry will emerge from the crisis in a stronger
position. One reason for this is that it has been able to ease the economic and social impact of the crisis through functioning home workplaces and videoconferencing over the Internet. Over the past few months, the Internet
industry has impressively demonstrated its importance and capabilities for the economy and the development of society as a whole. Although the volume of data has increased significantly, the Internet has proven to be
flexible and robust. It has thus enabled learning, working and social life to take place in remote mode.
As the Association of the Internet Industry, we recognised the current situation from the word go as also representing an opportunity for our members and the entire industry: Digital transformation – as not only the
pandemic shows – will continue to play an increasingly important role within the German and European economy in the future and, in the long term, the part played by the Internet industry will increase in all sectors. This is why a rethink in companies – from big players to small and medium-sized enterprises, from digital infrastructure providers to smart industries – should at the very latest take place now, a rethink which acknowledges that the Internet industry will play an increasingly important role for the wellbeing of our society. Alongside our members, we want to take on responsibility and together ensure the growth of bandwidth, availability, cybersecurity and trustworthiness. This is the only way we can achieve
acceptance for the further digital transformation of the economy and society.
Our association has been committed to this goal since its foundation 25 years ago. No wonder, then, that our anniversary in 2020 is being celebrated with the slogan “Internet with Responsibility”. We want to continue to play an active role in shaping the Internet in the future by promoting new technologies, digital infrastructures and markets, and by representing the interests of the industry in politics and in international bodies.
Speaking of the future: What will the year 2020 yield for the next decade? This is the question we address in the last chapter of the study, where we draw up two different scenarios for Germany’s digital infrastructure.
One thing that’s worth divulging to you upfront: The Internet industry will experience further successes and increased performance from 2030 onwards, especially if we invest massively in a high-performance ecosystem of digital infrastructures now, thus enabling the progress of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and digital transformation.
Let’s shape the Internet of the future together!