To what extent do digital media and services permeate the lives of Mr and Mrs Austria? What do they expect from the future and what emotions are aroused by the term "digitalisation"? The Telekom Austria Group commissioned the SORA Institute to carry out a representative study on these questions in Austria.
Alejandro Plater, CEO of the Telekom Austria Group: "The results of the study clearly show that Austrians are aware of the extent to which this country's future is linked to the advance of digitalisation. For us, as the Telekom Austria Group, this again means putting in place the right infrastructure, broadband for all and supporting training schemes to drive forward and shape digitalisation. People in Austria need optimum framework conditions. Furthermore, with our new subsidiary A1 Digital, we are the ideal partner for the digitalisation of Austrian companies."
Austria has arrived in the world of digitalisation
The main result of the study: The most diverse areas of Austrians' lives are permeated by digital media and services. "From the world of work, to further education, consumption of news or in the home: for the majority - namely three quarters - digital applications have become part and parcel of everyday life", confirms the author of the study Günther Ogris, Managing Partner of SORA. "Surprisingly, this is not just true of the young people in our country, 67% of the 60 plus generation also takes the use of digital media for granted."
Integral aspect of the working world, leisure and everyday life
Three quarters of all those in employment say that digital devices and media are at least rather relevant: More than half (over 60% percent) frequently work on the move and use cloud solutions as well as e-learning platforms in their daily working lives. Almost two thirds of those surveyed say that digital solutions are important in the area of education. In Austrians' personal lives, online shopping is part and parcel of everyday life for 80%. Almost 40% often or occasionally use streaming services, and facilities such as self-service checkouts or digital companions for sports (one third each) are also becoming increasingly accepted. The increasing use of digital aids in the home is also surprising. Half of all Austrians use digital aids such as robotic vacuum cleaners or lawn mowers as well as smart kitchen devices at least "rarely".
As far as news consumption is concerned, Mr and Mrs Austria would not want to do without digital channels: Two thirds already consume their daily news in digital form.
Does digitalisation bring more advantages or disadvantages? Optimists predominate.
The population has an increasingly optimistic attitude toward digitalisation. For 45% the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, 18% see more disadvantages. Roughly one third is undecided about this question. When the participants in the study think about the future, the importance of digitalisation for Austria becomes evident: Almost two thirds (62%) of the Austrians surveyed are of the opinion that the country's prosperity depends on the progress of digitalisation. 56% believe that digitalisation will have a positive impact on our children's future. 45% of those surveyed believe that digitalisation will lead to a higher quality of life for all Austrians.
At the same time, a clear majority of 87% believe that not all segments of society will be able to keep up with the digital transformation. Negative effects are especially anticipated in working life: 72% of those surveyed expect that digitalisation will lead to a loss of jobs.
Support needed: one quarter of the population needs help
Some 25% of the population feel unable to cope with increasing digitalisation. Approximately the same numbers of people say they need support from others in order to use digital media and devices. The main sources of help are family and friends, with one third of respondents turning to people in their immediate environment. 29% seek help online if they are at a loss and 15% rely on company support services. "The study shows there is a genuine need for support if as many people as possible are to benefit from digitalisation. This is why for many years we have offered an Austria-wide training scheme called A1 Internet for All. For us, this confirms that we have the right approach", said Alejandro Plater. A1 Internet for All has been used by 125,000 participants to date. The Senior's Guide, the A1+ Shops and the A1 Guru should also help offer the support that is needed.
Men and women live different digital lives
"The study not only reveals differing emotional attitudes between men and women. We also see that men and women live different digital lives", explains Günther Ogris from SORA. While women predominantly use digital services for communicating via social media channels, men have integrated digital services in their work and leisure activities to a far greater extent. Asked about the emotions aroused by digitalisation, the differences in attitude between men and women become very clear. While the dominant sentiment among men is one of confidence (40% confidence, 31% concern, 28% indifference), among women it is one of concern (41% concern, 31% confidence, 28% indifference).
Austrians have high expectations of digitalisation
One area in particular where Austrians hope for progress in the next few years is the medical field: More than two thirds (70%) consider it desirable that digitalisation will lead to improvements in medicine and subsequently to peoples' state of health. They also see potential in the field of education: 66% are convinced that digital offerings will move our educational system forward. A clear majority (71%) expects that digitalisation will make work easier. Almost two thirds (62%) say that support from digital intelligence at work is desirable.
The 4 Types of Digital User: From optimistic all-rounders to non-users
Based on the results of the study, the SORA Institute has defined four 4 types of digital user. Almost half (47%) of Austrians belong to the group of "well-informed, optimistic all-rounders". They make greater than average use of digital services, stay abreast of new trends and look to the future with confidence. The well-informed, optimistic all-rounder tends to be male, is well educated and rarely requires support.
Around one quarter (24%) of Austrians belong to the group of "questioning, wait-and-see users". They tend to be young and well educated and solve problems with digital media themselves. They are sceptical about the social changes brought about by digitalisation but do not feel overwhelmed by them.
Almost one fifth (19%) belong to the group of "struggling users". This group includes a higher percentage of women and a greater number of people with only compulsory education. Their use of digital services tends to be lower than average. The prevailing sentiment among struggling users is one of concern and they need help with the use of digital media & services.
10% of the population belongs to the group of "non-users". They make virtually no use of digital services and if they do, require assistance. This group comprises mostly older people (60 plus) and a larger number of women. The dominant sentiment among this group is one of concern and they do not believe digitalisation can improve the quality of life at an individual level.
The study surveyed 800 people over the age of 16 either online or by telephone.