Sunday, 21 May 2017

Denmark’s Digital Strategy 2016-2020

The blog entry Digital transformation in Denmark already mentioned Denmark’s digital strategy.
Digitaliseringsstyrelsen (the Danish Agency for Digitisation) offers us an introduction and an opportunity to download A Stronger and More Secure Digital Denmark: Digital Strategy 2016-2020 (May 2016), agreed by the central government, regions and municipalities.  

Naturally, Nordic readers can find an introduction and the strategy in Danish: Et stærkere og mere trygt digitalt samfund: Den fællesoffentlige digitaliseringsstrategi 2016-2020 (Maj 2016).


Digital public sector

The Danish Digital Strategy 2016-2020 concerns the whole public sector: all levels and all service providers (page 5):

The government Digital Strategies concern the authorities at all levels of government, from state, to regions to municipalities - i.e. both the administrative institutions such as ministries, agencies and the municipal and regional administrations, and the executive institutions such as hospitals, public schools, universities, etc.
Page 13 offers a summary of the 15 year transition during previous digital strategies before the vision is presented:

Vision: Public sector digitisation creates value and growth, it provides efficiency improvements and it secures the confidence of Danish people in the digital society.

The Digital Strategy strives to achieve three goals (on page 14 briefly, later specific initiatives in more detail):

Digital solutions must be easy-to-use, quick and ensure high quality
The Danish public should see that public-sector digitisation adds real value to their lives. The public sector must offer high-quality digital services and digital welfare solutions. Digitisation should make life easier, make it easier for people to help themselves, and improve the quality of public services. The authorities will share relevant information and work together better for the individual person or business. Furthermore, digitisation will contribute to a more cohesive and efficient public sector.

Public sector digitisation must provide good conditions for growth
Digitisation will make it easier to run a business and will contribute to the Government’s goal to reduce the administrative burden on the business community by DKK 3 billion by 2020. The ambition is that the administrative burden on businesses from reporting to public authorities is to be removed through automatic business reporting. All solutions aimed at businesses will be integrated in the Virk.dk portal, and businesses will meet a public sector
that fully supports their digital transition. The business community will have access to more public-sector data that can form the basis for new business opportunities and innovation.

Security and confidence must be in focus at all times
The great confidence Danes have in each other and in the public sector is the foundation of Danish welfare. We must safeguard this sense of security in an ever-more digital society. Therefore, we will improve information security in the public sector and enhance the digital competences of citizens and of businesses. A digital infrastructure for the public sector that is crucial for society must be robust and it must meet the needs of its users. Moreover, Denmark will be an inclusive society in which everyone can participate, both those who are ready to digitise, and those who cannot use the digital solutions or who do not have access to them.

The  citizens’ portal to public services borger.dk has a slightly different angle in English: lifeindenmark.dk.

Digital growth

The section Public sector digitisation must provide good conditions for growth (from page 34) focuses on a better environment for the business community, public sector data as a growth driver and an efficient utilities sector.

Regarding the use of public sector data, the Digital Strategy outlines (page 34, more from page 38):

The public sector has large amounts of data which businesses can use to optimise their procedures, and which can form the basis for new business opportunities and innovation. Therefore, the public sector should make more public sector data available to businesses and support exploitation of this data by businesses.

Data must to a greater extent be improved and made available in a number of specific areas in which there is deemed to be a great potential for a more efficient and effective public sector and new business opportunities for Danish businesses. This includes data on waste, underground infrastructure, energy, topography, climate and water.

The business portal virk.dk has been devised to serve the needs of enterprises.


Digital security

The third goal, security and confidence must be in focus at all times, translates into projects concerning public sector protection of data, robust digital infrastructure and digitisation for everyone (from page 46), including:

The public sector is to use and manage data on citizens and businesses with care and with the appropriate level of security. Information security in the public sector must be improved. Therefore, all authorities will have to commit to the principles set out in the international information security standard ISO27001. This also means that public employees should have, and be familiar with, clear guidelines on how to store and manage personal data on citizens and confidential data on businesses.


Managing progress

The Digital Strategy outlines how the public sector in Denmark is going to manage the ongoing process of adaptation to a digital society (page 59), including a project portfolio steering committee.  

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Denmark’s Digital Strategy 2016-2020 offers a general map of the transition to digital in the country ranked number one in the European Union.

I hope that this blog post, which has just skimmed the surface, can inspire others to make the Digital Strategy their starting point for further reading and learning about digital transformation.


Ralf Grahn