|Consultation Questionnaire |
|Design of the Digital Strategy|
|The Path to the “Digital Leap|
Unfortunately, Greece is not making satisfactory progress in the use of new technologies. The low performance of Greece in new technologies, as reflected by the relevant indices of an international study which was published in 2004, shows the choices in developmental orientation our country has taken during the last decade. Until recently, the concept of Information Society in Greece was exclusively tied with the Operational Programme and limited to information projects only. In the context of the broader structural changes, the Digital Strategy introduces new technologies in a wider perspective so that our country takes the …
“Digital leap to productivity, the Digital leap to the quality of life”
|The Digital Leap
This is a digital step forward which takes advantage of new technologies in a dynamic way as a mean to an end. For the Digital Strategy 2006-2013, information and telecommunication technologies are the means to sound economic development and to a better quality of life for the citizens. The major targets of the Digital Strategy are the following:
- Improvement in productivity
- Improvement in the quality of daily life of the citizens
The New Digital Strategy is the government’s “White Paper” for the development of the Information Society. The “White Paper” was originally drafted in 1995 and some of its provisions were subsequently updated in 1999, 2000 and 2002. The same Paper enhances the role of the existing O.P. “Information Society” to which it also offers new perspectives. In addition, it meets the challenges of the 4th Programming Period (2007-2013) effectively and is in line with the European policy for the “Information Society – i2010” and the “Jobs & Growth” Action of the E.U which was drawn in the first semester of 2005.
”You, too, can participate in the design of the Digital Strategy of the country…”
|Design of the Digital Strategy
The design of the Digital Strategy was a collaborative effort between the ICT Commission and of more than 20 managing directors and high ranking officers from the sectors of IT and Communications. In this effort contributed also information users (e.g. Banks, commerce players, etc.), agencies of the public sector, staff from the Ad-hoc Secretariat of the Information Society, experts and associations (e.g. the Federation of Hellenic Information Technology & Communication Enterprises [SEPE] and the Federation of Greek Industries, etc. The basic aim of the design was to identify the most critical factors which thwarted Greece’s performance in new technologies during the last ten years. Eventually, twenty (20) such factors were identified and their involvement in the reduced productivity of the public sector, and resulting consequences in enterprises, were noted. The design of the digital strategy took into account relevant European and International policies (i2010, WSIS) as well as best practices in new technologies from 20 countries. As stated by the Ad-hoc Secretary of the Information Society, professor V. Asimakopoulos, “…the efforts by the ICT Commission heralds a drastic change – it is the first time that an institutional agency responsible for policy making in Information & Communication Technology decided to investigate the root of the problem, instead of making a diagnosis of the same.” Six are the basic orientations of the strategy – four of them focus on productivity and two on the quality of life.”
- Promotion of ICT in enteprises
- Supply of digital services to enterprises and restructuring of the pubic sector
- Strengthening of the ICT sector
- Promotion of entrepreneurship in ICT related activities
- Improvement of daily life through ICT, and
- Design of digital services for the citizen.
The common denominator for all of the above is fast broadband Internet connectivity. Naturally, the human capital plays a “key-role” and, if developed in a systematic way, it can be a major comparative advantage to our country.
|The path to the “Digital Leap”
The path to the “Digital Leap”, i.e. the realization of a new digital strategy for our country, involves 65 new actions. Emphasis is placed on the development of systems for electronic procurements, on significant broadband improvements, on information campaigns and the sensitization of the citizens to new technologies. A most practical priority of this strategy – to take effect by the year 2008 – is to supply enterprises with five (5) certificates that are at the top of their demand, and the provision of the top 20 services to the citizens. These actions are critical for taking the digital leap. As regards the period following 2008, the design contemplates the setting up of one-stop electronic points with the aim to further accelerate services to enterprises. Also, the restructuring of the public sector will automate procedures and new technologies will be better integrated into the educational system. The new digital strategy draws upon and enhances the existing Operational Programme (O.P.) “Information Society” while at the same time lays the foundation for the development of our country in the framework of the 4rth Programming Period (2007-2013). However, the implementation of the digital strategy does not limit itself to Operational Programmes only; it also exploits all available tools, e.g. the new Investment Law, to encourage investments in the rural areas of the country and thus bridge the digital divide between the disadvantaged regions and urban centers. Also, from the partnerships between the private and the public sectors, the digital strategy will take advantage of emerging capabilities to produce faster and more effective deliverables (e.g. infrastructure) at a lower public cost and thus make a significant contribution to the quality of life of the citizens. The implementation of the digital strategy is scheduled to begin immediately, in 2006, while its progress will be monitors and benchmarked by the Observatory for the Information Society. To this end, the Observatory will utilize comprehensive indicators, in compliance with the i2010 initiative, and the guidelines of the European Statistical Service (Eurostat). The Hellenic Digital Strategy is officially included in the National Reform Plan in the framework of the Lisbon Strategy. This Plan was submitted to the European Commission in early October 2005 and is solid proof of our country’s commitment to adopt the digital orientation is all sectors of public and private activity.
The new digital plan for 2006-2013 aims at materializing a ‘digital leap’ in productivity and in the quality of life, up until the year 2013. A digital leap with a dual purpose: an improvement in the productivity of the Greek economy and an improvement in the quality of the citizens’ everyday life. The Information Technology Committee, the highest legislative mechanism for the implementation of the new scheme and the development of Information Technology in the country, presented the proposal for the digital scheme of the period 2006-2013.
If this ‘leap’ takes place, the new digital scheme will develop and reinforce ‘Information Community’, the subordinate Business Programme, while simultaneously, will set up the foundations for the country’s development in the context of the fourth Programmatic Period (2007-2013). All the same, the implementation of the digital scheme also does take into consideration all tools available to it, particularly, the ability of the public and private sector to co-exist, but also take into consideration the New Investment Law to ensure the development of the new information and communication technology…
Source: Infosoc Newsletter