ICT and e-commerce in enterprises

2020: the year of online meetings and online sales

2020: the year of online meetings and online sales ICT usage in enterprises

Between May and September 2021, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, conducted a survey on the use of ICT in enterprises[1][2].

It shows that almost seven out of ten Belgian companies organised more online meetings via Skype, Zoom, MT Teams, etc. in 2020. Companies with more than 250 employees almost all organized more meetings this way (98%).
About 65% of the companies with more than 50 employees indicated that the Covid-19 crisis is fully responsible for this increase, while almost 30% attributed this partly to the crisis.

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, 15.6% of the companies have started to sell goods or services via the internet or have increased their efforts in this field. A quarter of the companies received orders through a website or through 'apps'. The biggest increase compared to 2020 occurred among companies with 10 to 49 employees (+4.9 percentage points).

The 2021 survey on ICT usage and e-commerce in businesses also allows us to draw the following conclusions:

  • Almost all enterprises have an internet connection via a fixed or mobile broadband connection. Seven out of ten enterprises connect to the internet via a fixed or mobile broadband connection with a download speed of at least 100 Mbits/s. Only 12.6% of companies have a maximum download speed of at least 1 GB/s.
  • 76% of the companies use social media, which is an increase of 5.6 percentage points compared to 2019. For companies with more than 250 employees, the figure is 95%. Four in ten companies use websites for sharing multimedia content (e.g. Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare).
  • Half of the companies in Belgium buy cloud computing services[3] via the internet. This share is nine out of ten for companies with more than 250 employees (+3.6 percentage points compared to 2020). 42.1% buy advanced services, 4.7% buy intermediate services and 5.6% buy basic services.
  • Almost three out of ten companies use the Internet of Things [4] such as interconnected devices or systems that can be remotely monitored or controlled via the internet. Three quarters of the companies also secure their buildings with this (alarm systems, smoke detectors, door locks or intelligent security cameras). It is also noticeable that most of the companies using this also use cloud computing services.
  • One in ten companies use at least one artificial intelligence technology. This share is four in ten for companies with more than 250 employees. Of the companies that use artificial intelligence technologies, almost four in ten use them for ICT security. Few companies are considering using them anyway (5.6%).

[1] Enterprises of at least 10 persons.

[2] Survey organised at European level on the basis of regulations (EC) 808/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 and (EC) 1006/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009.

[3] Cloud computing refers to computer services used on the internet to access software, computing power or storage space.

- Advanced CC services: security software applications, database hosting and purchase of a computer platform providing a hosted environment for developing, testing or running applications.

- Intermediate CC services: accounting software, ERP software (Enterprise Resource Planning) and software applications for managing customer relationship information.

- Basic CC services: email, office software systems, file storage and computing power to run the company's software.

[4] The Internet of Things (IoT: Internet of Things) refers to interconnected devices or systems, often called 'intelligent' devices or systems. These objects collect and exchange data and can be remotely monitored or controlled via the internet.

Computer equipment

The maximum download speed of the fastest internet connection

2021 Belgium Brussels Flanders Wallonia
less than 30 Mb/s 10.7% 6.0% 9.0% 16.1%
at least 30Mb/s but less than 100 Mb/s 21.7% 26.8% 18.4% 26.7%
at least 100 Mb/s but less than dan 500 Mb/s 32.9% 31.4% 35.5% 28.0%
at least 500 Mb/s but less than 1 Gb/s 12.7% 11.1% 13.9% 10.7%
at least 1 Gb/s 8.2% 11.3% 8.1% 7.3%
at least 30 Mb/s 75.6% 80.7% 76.0% 72.7%
at least 100 Mb/s 53.9% 53.9% 57.6% 46.0%

Survey ICT and e-commerce in enterprises

Purpose and brief description

The purpose of the data collection on the use of information and communication technologies in enterprises in our country is to gain a better insight into the IT infrastructure of these enterprises and to be able to compare these statistical data at European level.

Furthermore, this survey is receiving a grant from Eurostat, the European statistical office.


Enterprises belonging to sections B to N and P to S of the NACE rev.2.



Size of the sample

Around 7,500 enterprises


Broadband connection : fixed or mobile broadband connection to the Internet

Internet connection via DSL : Internet connection via ADSL

Employee computerised firm : Number of employees working in enterprises using computers

Employee per connected firm : Number of employees working in an enterprise with an Internet connection

Has a website : Has a website or a webportal

Has Internet access : Has Internet access Mobile connection: Mobile connection to the Internet (broadband or other).


Survey form

  • Survey form 2022 FR-NL.pdf
  • Survey form 2021 FR-NL.pdf
  • Survey form 2020 FR-NL.pdf
  • Survey form 2019 FR-NL.pdf