José Luis Vázquez Ana Lanero María Purificación García


Purpose—Based on the new face of business in the twenty first century, this general review is aimed at analyzing the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as social technologies by Spanish enterprises in the European context, as a result of recent policy frameworks set at communitarian and national levels.Design/methodology/approach—The paper reviews the guidelines marked by European common policies with regards to ICT update in business, just as the translation of such standards in the Spanish area. From this framework, implications of ICT adoption in the social relationships with consumers, employees, business partners and public authorities are analyzed by providing some figures in the Spanish context in comparison with the European average.Findings—The analysis supports a positive effect of national policies on Spanish enterprises’ use of social technologies in the interactions with their internal and external stakeholders, while some differences can be reported attending size and sector criteria. In this respect, ICT penetration seems to be widespread in Spanish enterprises longer than ten employees, specially within informatics, telecommunications and audiovisuals, whereas automation of interactions is moderated in micro-enterprises in the manufacture, building, retailing, and transportation sectors.Research limitations/implications—The paper offers a general overview of the use of ICT as social technologies in Spanish enterprises based on public reports. However, further research should be oriented to analyze more in deep the impact of public policies on ICT adoption and usage in business, by explaining their determining factors and comparing different clusters of counties and major regions of the world.Practical implications—The analysis reported point to the need of reinforcing the Spanish positioning in the ICT European sector in the long term. In this sense, future policy measures should be devoted to overcome barriers to more advanced ICT use in business, by fostering the generation of technological solutions adapted to different business models, increasing e-skills enhancing, and facilitating the access to financing sources.Originality/Value—This paper offers an alternative analysis of ICT deployment in the European and Spanish business sectors based on the discussion of how surrounding enterprises are driven to restructure the way which information is generated and shared inside and outside them, thus defining a new way of technology-mediated social transactions with clients, employees and external stakeholders.Research type: general review.