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Tunisia: private companies still struggling to digitalize

After presenting, a few weeks ago, the results of a semi-satisfactory survey on the digitized services provided by the Tunisian administration to business companies, the Center for Young Leaders (CJd) revealed, on Thursday, October 13, in Tunis, the findings of a survey on the other side of the issue, namely the progress made by Tunisian private companies in the digitization of various aspects of their business.

And at this level either, the results are not up to the central place occupied today by digitization in the world and in economy, in particular.

Thus, the survey showed that more than 62% of private companies in Tunisia with more than 6 employees do not use digital means of payment in Tunisia contrary to the stated ambition to digitalize payments. The survey was conducted in association with the German Foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Kas).

Only 27.5% of companies consider that the adoption of digital payment methods is a priority, according to this survey on the degree of digitalization of Tunisian private companies.

The survey, which also aims to measure the severity of obstacles that prevent or slowdown the digital transformation of Tunisian companies, was conducted by telephone among a sample of 1232 companies with more than 6 employees (out of a base of 22575 companies) during the month of April 2022.

The business leaders surveyed in this framework were asked about the degree of digitalization, the tasks digitized, the priorities of companies regarding digitalization, the impact of digitalization on the local market share and export and the main obstacles to the digitalization of companies.

Other figures

60% of business leaders say they do not use digital tools for the provision of services, 51% of companies do not use digital platforms for teleworking and only 14% of the turnover of Tunisian companies (6 employees and more) are made using digital platforms.

However, 93% of the managers declare that their companies use internet, social media, specialized apps or digital platforms in their activities and 63% of the managers declare using digital tools in the administrative management of their companies against 37% who do not.

More than 89% of the companies consider that digitalization can increase their competitiveness, more than 78% of them say that digitalization can improve their market share on the local market and more than 72% believe that digitalization can strengthen their export market share.

Still according to the survey, only 39% of companies in the transport sector use digital tools for administrative management against more than 77% of companies in the human health sector and 72% of industrial companies that say they use digital tools for this task. For large companies (more than 200 employees), this rate rises to 84%.

For production planning tasks, only 28.7% of companies report using digital tools, compared to 34% for supply chain management, 54% for marketing-related tasks and 46% for sales-related tasks.

However, more than 77% of companies consider the digitization of production planning not a priority and 80% of companies consider the digitization of supply chain management not a priority.

Obstacles and pitfalls

Besides, only 28.6% of companies list the digitization of sales-related tasks as a priority and barely 20% of them indicate that using digital for service delivery is a priority.

Furthermore, adopting the use of digital for remote work is a priority for only 29.5% of the companies surveyed.

Barriers to the use of digital tools in businesses vary from industry to industry and by company size.

Market maturity, regulations and the cost of change are the main obstacles to the use of digital tools in the company, according to this survey, which also mentions the lack of human resources required and the difficulties of financing the investment.


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