The digitalisation measures, approved by the government last year, are already proving to be effective. Their results are already becoming apparent, as Slovenia is above the European average in terms of digitisation – for the first time ever. Namely, according to the measurements of the Digital Futures Index, prepared by the technology giant Microsoft, which assesses the level of digitisation in 16 European countries, Slovenia is in seventh place and slightly above the average of Central and Eastern Europe. In order to speed up its digital journey, Slovenia should accelerate the digitalisation of public services, strengthen the digital sector and infrastructure, promote more flexible forms of work, and increase the number of ICT professionals.
The index brings data about the current level of digitalisation in individual countries and areas where the latter are most successful. The data shows areas where there is more work to be done in the future, in order to accelerate the digital transformation process, the Slovenian Press Agency reports. The current government has already done a lot in the area of digitisation, but since its goals were even more ambitious, the Strategic Council for Digitalisation recently prepared 25 new measures that will further improve the level of digitalisation in Slovenia, as advised by Microsoft.
Slovenia ranks seventh out of 16 European countries
On the Digital Future Index, digitalisation is perceived through 5 categories of digital development, namely: digital business, digital government and public sector, digital infrastructure, the digital sector, and human capital. According to Microsoft’s measurements, Slovenia ranked seventh, after Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia and Malta. The countries that follow Slovenia are Portugal, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Russia, and Greece, in last place.
Slovenia is above the average of Central and Eastern Europe
Microsoft has calculated the average of points for the countries from the Central and Eastern Europe region, which includes Slovenia, which, with a score of 107 was seven points above the average of the countries from the group, which also includes Mediterranean Malta. Malta scored 114, and Estonia 139. The Czech Republic was also above average with 102 points, while Hungary reached the average score. For comparison, the top three on the scale deviate from the average of Central and Eastern Europe by about 60 points, and Finland, as the first on the list, by as many as 62 points. The result of Slovenia’s southern neighbour, Croatia, is 91, Serbia reached 85 points, and Greece (in last place) scored 83 points.
The government has already done a lot in the field of digitalisation
Slovenia can also be compared to the most digitally developed European countries in certain areas. Thus, it records good results in the digitalisation of education, human resources, companies’ investments in research and development and digital competitiveness of companies. The Strategic Digitalisation Council has already included 40 measures in the first package, focusing on digital inclusion, creating a friendlier environment for IT companies and professionals, and strengthening cyber security. So far, 13 measures have been implemented, and by the end of its term, the government intends to implement eight more, the Minister without Portfolio for Digital Transformation, Mark Boris Andrijanič, recently told the media.
Many services are already digitised
Among the implemented measures are also the informative calculation of family allowances, the virtual window of administrative units, the first joint e-public procurement in the field of health, and the mobile application e-health (e-zdravje). By the end of his term, Andrijanič also announced the introduction of e-identity for citizens, a tax standing order, the possibility of video identification for opening bank and crypto accounts, and some other measures. In the coming months, an international institute for applied artificial intelligence is to be established, and a development and economic representative office is to be opened in Silicon Valley.
The government had already set clear targets even before the index was published
The index also identified the need for faster action in some key development areas. To accelerate digital development, the state, in cooperation with other stakeholders, must pay more attention to the digitalisation of public services, the development of the digital sector and infrastructure, and the promotion of more flexible ways of working, according to Microsoft’s new Digital Futures Index. At the same time, steps need to be taken to inspire more people, especially women, to pursue their careers in technology, as Slovenia has a below-average share of ICT professionals compared to the Central and Eastern European countries. All of Microsoft’s recommendations are in line with the intention and goal of the government, which recently said that it aims to make Slovenia one of the five most digitalised countries in Europe by the end of this decade, which is also why the Strategic Council recently prepared 25 new measures that are more than well-established and, apparently, “one step ahead.”