Press Release

New Study: Austrian SMEs Locate Communication Deficits in IT Departments

March 3, 2020

At the same time, areas such as marketing, HR or purchasing need more IT know-how, say CEOs and HR managers. New degree program combines IT, management and communication.


Vienna, March 3, 2020 – Deficiencies in communication are the main reason for in-company problems with IT departments in Austria. This is the result of a representative study by the market research company Telemark Marketing for which CEOs and HR managers of Austrian companies were interviewed.

  • About one third (32 percent) find that IT employees or IT department managers use language that is often complicated and incomprehensible to other departments.
  • According to 61 percent of respondents, better communication between IT and other departments in the company would help to solve IT problems more quickly.
  • The majority (54 percent) of the survey participants also consider management know-how to be an important competence for IT managers.

FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication sees the study as an encouragement to introduce the new Bachelor’s degree program in Digital Business. Its curriculum includes communication skills as well as the transfer of know-how on digital technology and management knowledge.

Study commissioned by FHWien der WKW

In order to determine the requirements for IT training, FHWien der WKW commissioned WKW the market research institute Telemark Marketing to conduct a study. For this purpose, around 200 CEOs and HR managers throughout Austria were interviewed by telephone. The majority of those surveyed (82 percent) work in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with up to 200 employees.

Digital transformation leads to a paradigm shift in the required competencies 

The results of the survey show that internal difficulties with IT departments are often caused by poor communication. “In 55 percent of the cases, communication is the reason for problems in the cooperation with the own IT”, market researcher Robert Sobotka of Telemark Marketing substantiates the result. “Soft skills such as communication skills are expected of all IT employees and not only of the IT manager”, says Sobotka. Against the background of digitalization and the associated growing number of projects with IT implications, management know-how is seen as increasingly important by those surveyed – both in the IT department and in other specialist departments of companies: “61 percent of the managing directors and human resources managers interviewed feel that this ability is necessary”, Sobotka continues. On the other hand, IT competence is increasingly required not only in IT, but also in other departments of a company, such as marketing, purchasing and logistics. “According to 55 percent of the study participants, specialist departments such as marketing, human resources or accounting require more IT know-how”, market researcher Sobotka specifies. 

New degree program combines digital technology with economic application

 “Digital technology has become an integral part of our lives. Technical know-how combined with economic thinking and communication skills gives students the opportunity to play a leading role in business life”, says Lorena Skiljan, founder of Blockchain Austria, who was involved in the development of the degree program.

“The digital transformation has something of a business trip to a country whose language and culture you don’t understand. It is correspondingly difficult to communicate with the population – the IT experts”, states Sebastian Eschenbach, Head of Department of Digital Economy at FHWien der WKW. What is needed, he says, is knowledge of foreign languages and the ability to communicate, in order to stay in the picture of the business trip. Precisely these skills are taught in the new degree program which combines digital technology with economic application. 

Part-time Bachelor’s program with 50 percent online teaching 

The Bachelor’s degree program in Digital Business is offered on a part-time basis. “We are addressing people who are already working on digitalization or are planning to do so”, emphasizes Sebastian Eschenbach. The degree program therefore takes into account the needs of working people: half of the lessons are held online.

“Many professional fields are in a state of upheaval due to the digital transformation”, explains Michael Heritsch, CEO of FHWien der WKW. “We are responding to the resulting need for employees who can help shape digitalization with the cross-competence Bachelor’s degree program in Digital Business.” 

Applications for university places at FHWien der WKW are possible until May 11

Until May 11, 2020, applications for university places in the Bachelor’s degree program in Digital Business and in the other 17 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs offered by FHWien der WKW can be submitted. Information is available on the University of Applied Sciences’ website:
FHWien der WKW’s website

Photo for press release:
Portrait of FH-Prof. Dr. Dr. Sebastian Eschenbach, Head of Department of Digital Economy, FHWien der WKW
Copyright: FHWien der WKW
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FHWien der WKW
University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication
FHWien der WKW has been Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management & communication for more than 25 years. Working in close contact with Austrian corporations, FHWien der WKW offers comprehensive and practice-oriented academic programs to over 2,800 Bachelor and Master students. Two thirds of our teaching staff have a background in business. Our programs are tailored to the needs of companies, optimally preparing our graduates – around 11,000 to date – for their future careers.


Bernhard Witzeling
Head of Corporate Communication, Marketing and Alumni&Co, Press Officer
Tel.: +43 (1) 476 77-5733