After the abolition of the minimum rate of the Euro the country is facing new challenges. bloodsugarmagic helps foreign IT companies to gain a foothold in the Swiss market.
With Switzerland a partner country presents itself at CeBIT 2016 that is globally in the lead when it comes to the use of digital technologies but whose ICT branch on the other hand is facing big challenges. The Swiss are hoping to show their “innovative strength and digital competence to an international audience” at the world’s biggest information technology exhibition in Hanover.
With a gross value added of about 27 billion Swiss Francs in 2011, ICT is the sixth largest economical branch in Switzerland. In the past four years the number of jobs in this area has grown by twelve percent to 197,600. Until 2022 it is expected that another 87,000 skilled workers will be needed. According to a survey by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office almost all citizens under 45 years are using the Internet. Looking at the population aged 15 and above, the amount lies by considerable 84 percent. Furthermore, the Media Use Index 2013 has found out that the 8.9 million Swiss inhabitants are globally in the lead when it comes to the concentration of smartphones and the mobile use of the Internet. The result of another survey is that 80 percent of Swiss companies see digitalization as a chance for their business – especially in the financial and insurance sector, mechanical and plant engineering and medical technology. Strategies of digitalization are also gaining in importance in the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture. Hence, Switzerland really seems to be predestined for being partner country at CeBIT, says also Oliver Frese, member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe.
After the abolition of the minimum rate of the Euro in the beginning of 2015, it didn’t look too good for the Swiss ICT branch though: in the end of March a survey by the Swiss branch association Swico showed that the whole sector had a lot of trouble with this development. While the segments Software and IT Services were expecting uneconomical growth for the second quarter of 2015, the segments IT Technology, Consumer Electronics and Imaging/Printing/Finishing were even facing veritable signs of decay. All segments saw the strong Swiss Franc as the biggest challenge. Meanwhile, the biggest shock has been overcome and the mood is getting somewhat optimistic again. The segments Consulting, Software and IT Services face the second half of 2015 positively. The segments IT Technology, Consumer Electronics and Imaging/Printing/Finishing remain skeptical while ratings have at least improved in comparison to the previous quarter.
Furthermore, the enormous lack of skilled personnel and declining margins have in the meantime again replaced the strong Swiss Franc as the biggest direct challenge of the branch. The indirect problems that are connected with the currency strength though are gradually gaining crucial relevance. Part of the development is that the enhanced price gap between Switzerland and the EU environment leads to increasing direct imports, price erosion and a growing foreign competition. That’s the reason why a lot of Swiss ICT companies are on the lookout for new markets. Especially medium-sized enterprises and start-ups are therefore hoping for establishing new contacts with little effort at CeBIT.
On the other side of the border there’s also interest in cooperation: According to a survey by the German branch association BITKOM, Switzerland belongs to the top-10 trading partners for German IT and telecommunications companies. Two third of the companies questioned stated that Switzerland will be an interesting market for them in the future.
With their expert knowledge of the German as well as the Swiss market, bloodsugarmagic can be an interesting sparring partner and arrange appropriate contacts.
“We follow the developments of the Swiss IT market with interest”, says Bernd Hoeck, go-to-market expert and managing partner at bloodsugarmagic. “It’s impressive to see how fast the branch has risen again after the abolition of the minimum rate of the Euro and is looking forward. Switzerland remains an attractive market for ICT and offers a great chance for foreign IT service companies to engage in joint ventures and other forms of cooperation. Very gladly we help with establishing appropriate contacts. Just get in touch with us!”
Swiss companies will present themselves at the central stand in Hall 6 with a thematic focus on Research & Innovation, Financial Technologies and Business Security at CeBIT, March 14th till 18th 2016. The partner country will also be present in the area Communication and Networks in Hall 13.