Enterprises Lead ICT Innovation in Europe

Communications of the ACM 

In global terms, Europe's information and communications technology (ICT) industry is small, overshadowed by the massive software industry and the extensive electronics industry in East Asia. But it does have some world-class companies, such as telecom equipment providers Nokia and Ericsson, online music platform Spotify, e-commerce company Zalando, enterprise software provider SAP, games developer Supercell (now owned by Tencent), embedded processor designer ARM (now owned by Softbank) and Skype (now owned by Microsoft). Moreover, some of the region's telecom groups, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange, and Telefónica, are major multinationals with operations spanning several continents. Although it has only one of the top 10 artificial intelligence (AI) research institutionsa (CNRS in France) and no major cloud service providers or Internet platforms on the scale of Amazon, Microsoft, or Google, Europe does innovate in ICT. Whereas Europe's tech industry is cash-strapped, non-tech companies in Europe have more cash holdings than their counterparts in the U.S. or China.b