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 Sectors covered,
 1st phase 2002/03
 e-business indicators
 e-Biz Concepts

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  The e-Business W@tch is an initiative of the
European Commission
Enterprise Directorate General
E-business, ICT industries and services.

  The European e-business policies portal - a one-stop-shop, on-line environment for all European e-business initiatives.

  The eBusiness legal portal offers information on all legal aspects of e-business, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

  eMarket Services: a guide to B2B e-markets, co-funded by the the EC / DG Enterprise.


ICT Services    


This sector of the e-Business W@tch is constituted by activities within the sectors telecommunications (NACE Rev. 1 64.2) as well as computer related activities (NACE Rev. 1 72). The latter can be subdivided on the 3-digit-level into six further groups. For the combined sectors NACE 64.2 and 72, the e-Business W@tch has used the term "ICT services" for better readability, where ICT stands for information and communication technology. It has to be kept in mind, though, that ICT services can also be defined in a broader way, for example by also including wholesale of office machinery.

Rev. 1
Business activity
64.2 Telecommunications
72 Computer related activities
72.1 Hardware consultancy
72.2 Software consultancy and supply
72.3 Data processing
72.4 Data base activities
72.5 Maintenance and repair of office, accounting and computing machinery
72.6 Other computer related activities

Main reasons for selection

  • Leading sector in e-Business - benchmark for other sectors: The ICT services sector is in many respects the leading sector and thus the benchmark with respect to e-business application. As many companies from the sector are suppliers of the most essential elements for conducting e-business, it can be assumed that the companies in these industries are conducting e-business in the best way possible, as they are familiar with concept and technology, believe in the productivity-enhancing and cost-saving effects of their own solutions, and as they should be competent in realising e-business projects.
  • High potential impact - e-business can change the nature of ICT services: A significant part of the ICT services industry produces traditional, labour intensive services, where the potential for mass-production or self-service and the possible price decreases associated with these are limited. ICT investment and the Internet, however, can change this. For example, a labour-intensive support hotline of a telecommunication company can be (partially) substituted by a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Internet. Or a manufacturer of software (for example anti-virus software) can build the ability into his software to update itself via the Internet. As the complete package of basic software and updating services no longer contains any labour-intensive services, there are considerable economies of scale in supplying such a package.
  • Leveraging the potential of ICT Services as a lead sector: The e-Business W@tch surveys show that ICT services are advanced in their usage of ICT and e-business technologies. As far as these ICT investments increase productivity in ICT services, there are consequences for productivity and growth for the economy as a whole. Although ICT services are a comparatively small part of the economy as a whole, large productivity changes in this sector will also be seen in the aggregate.
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The e-Business W@tch is being implemented and operated by empirica Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH (Bonn)
in co-operation with DIW Berlin - German Institute for Economic Research and Databank Consulting spa (Milan), Berlecon Research,
IDATE, PLS RAMBØLL Management, and Saatchi & Saatchi Business Communications