ECONOMY

ICT companies are optimistic as demand is expected to rise

Measured optimism characterizes the sector of information and communications technologies (ICT) in Greece after the market bottomed out and as public and private investments in ICT are expected to increase, a survey by the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) has found. There still are some pessimistic voices who refer to delays in projects in the «Information Society» program, their undervaluing and the view that the recession isn’t over yet. The survey found that ICT companies’ problems are big: There is a price war and limited profit margins, as many players work within a small market, while markets abroad are not accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, expansion of infrastructure remains expensive, there are no foreign investments and even the Olympics projects went to a few big foreign firms. However, about 80 percent of domestic enterprises are optimistic due to the Community Support Framework projects which create new ICT users. The cost of using new infrastructure and equipment is expected to fall, and the completion of the legal framework for telecoms will help. The ICT sector’s prospects will depend on demand and enterprises’ adaptation to the changing environment, the survey concluded. Demand will be determined mainly by changes in ICT use by businesses in all sectors and by the general public. Midterm prospects for the sector’s companies depend on the adoption of a new culture of use to broaden user base and create steady demand and growth for products and services. The state’s role will be vital for demand, through spending on modernization using new electronic services, and by spreading the «information culture.» Finally, positive results can come from the expansion of companies into new markets.