Saturday 20 May 2017

Digital transformation in Denmark

We glanced at the fourteen System Initiatives under work at the World Economic Forum (WEF), intertwined with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs).

The blog entry Future-proof Denmark? ended with a question mark.

If quick glances raised a question, could brief looks offer indications?

Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI)

The Digital Transformation Initiative by the World Economic Forum could offer one approach to future-proof. The title page of the 71-page DTI executive summary catches the reader’s attention by highlighting the potential to unlock $100 trillion for business and society. It offers an inspirational theme park of emerging technologies about to change life.

The societal implications start on page 22, but our themes really meet on page 25, when the Digital Transformation Initiative summary picks up work on unlocking digital potential in Denmark: more than $50 billion of value over the next decade (in a country with a 5.7 million population).

Even if there are considerable business gains to be made, e-commerce, connected travel services, the sharing economy and assisted driving seem to offer even more potential benefits to society.

The summary crystallises the choice with regard to sustainable development (page 60):

An important choice must be made: between a more open, inclusive and interconnected world, or one that is closed, siloed and unequal.

But the better choice requires overcoming the inhibitors to transformation, with implications for business leaders, as well as governments and policy-makers (from p. 62).

Europe’s Digital Progress Report 2017

How well is the digital transformation under way in Denmark?

It cannot be all bad, since the recently published Europe’s Digital Progress Report 2017 (EDPR) country profile (available in English and Danish) places Denmark first among the EU member states, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2017, ahead of Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Estonia and Austria.

The Digital Economy and Society Index 2017 rates connectivity, human capital, use of Internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services. DESI 2017 offers the following summary for EU members wanting to emulate success:

Denmark ranks 1st out of the 28 EU Member States and it progressed at a higher pace than the EU average. Denmark made progress in most dimensions. Denmark performed very well on Connectivity, thanks to the widest 4G coverage in Europe and the increase in take-up of fast connections. 94% of Danish citizens are online and the vast majority have at least basic digital skills. However, the share of ICT specialists stagnated. On the supply side, Denmark made outstanding progress in the use of digital technologies by enterprises, leading the EU and the world rankings. Denmark is strong in the delivery of online public services thanks to a consistent long-term national strategy.

Denmark belongs to the High performing cluster of countries.

Denmark is a world leader in digitisation and the new umbrella governmental digital plan, namely, Digital Strategy 2016-2020, presented in May 2016, aims at further enhancing close public sector collaboration to deliver good, efficient and coherent services to the public and businesses.

The individual factors are discussed in more detail on the rest of the eleven pages of the country profile.

Digital Denmark

The EU Commission 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, 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).

Ralf Grahn

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