In the last times I am wondering what is the situation of Italian companies and which is the future of their economy, taking in consideration the steps that are being taken in innovation, research and development from both the government and the companies themselves.
From my point of view they are really awful, I mean, there’s no doubt that we are in an difficult phase for our economy and this bad economic conjuncture effects are lasting for more than expected, but, when I say awful I’m saying that we are navigating in bad waters more than we notice or think.
Of course there are big multinationals that are investing a lot in R&D or online customer relationship or whatever strategy that uses the power of IT [there’s one in particular near where I live (Brembo), that has even created a park for scientific development and it’s going to be huge], but most of the small and mid firms don’t even know the potential of some simple yet cheap instruments that internet offers to them. For example, few of them has a simple facebook page and updates it regularly, or use a twitter account for interating with their customers, very few industrial companies use a voip client to keep in contact with their supply chain, and even fewer take advantage the virtualization to empower the production line and their control system.
Problem is that those small companies are the real engine of the Italian economy, and if they don’t wake up , they will be literally eaten by the asian competitors.
Besides this, let’s assume that a company has the ideas to implement an “online” strategy, which are the investments of the government for creating a solid infrastructure to sustain those business? None.
The possibilities to have a really high speed connection, like in fiber, are remote or the costs are prohibitive. Italians copper lines are too old and the pairs are always overloaded. There are no economic district where to do some joint venture. We are now (now!) investing in the high speed trains, and there’s still someone that does not understand the importance of them. We are years back.
We keep sustaining old big companies just to not lose our face internationally (it’s too late Italians!), and keep giving subsidies to the banks. Gosh.. If they cannot stand up with their own legs or they don’t fall within the european requirement, it means that there’s something that doesn’t work!! We have people to the power that only look to their interests, and I’m not biasing saying this.
Even a lot of young students are blind in front of this disastrous country, and most of them are even contributing to it by wasting their relatives’ money enrolling to university just because they don’t want to go to work.
Maybe, fortunately, not everything is lost, we have some young talented people that are creating some great startups, don’t make them escape abroad.