Progress of Slovenia in digitalization
Digitisation in the world plays an increasingly important role in conjunction with the growth of the economy. Thus, it is very important that regions and countries recognize the importance of social competences and challenges as one of the key factors for the success of digitization in due time and manner.
The European Commission recently published the most recent report “Digital Economy and Society Index” (DESI). The report measured the relevant factors regarding the progress of digitization of European countries and it notes that Slovenia and Slovakia have made the biggest progress in 2016.
The index is composed of the following 5 parameters:
- connectivity (prevalence of physical and mobile broadband connections),
- human resources (using Internet, basic and advanced digital knowledge and skills),
- the use of the Internet (using the content, communications and online transactions by citizens)
- integration of digital technologies in business (digitisation and online store), and
- digital public services (e-Government).
According to the report Slovenia ranks at 17th place just below the average of EU countries just behind the Czech Republic and France and is considered one of the medium-successful countries. Index is led by Denmark, followed by Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. At the end range of the index are found Croatia, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.
Compared to previous years Slovenia has made significant progress especially in the parameter “integration of digital technologies in business, in which Slovenia finds itself above the EU average.
Slovenians are involved in various online activities and they are also improving digital skills and knowledge. Number of internet users grew and reached 73 per cent – however the EU average is 79 percent. At last 53% of inhabitants possess the basic digital skills. The EU average in this parameter is 56%.
In terms of connectivity Slovenia is not making sufficient progress. Connectivity still remains below the EU average mainly due to slow transition of the use of fast and mobile broadband as prices of fixed-line connections operators remain quite high. Considering this parameter Slovenia’s rank has been lowered for 6 places (from the 20th place to the 26th place).
The fact that companies understand the need for digitalization in their processes is clearly shown by the fact that Slovenia jumped from the 13th to the 7th place in this parameter. The efforts are especially evident in introduction of electronic invoicing, the use of RFID (radiofrequencies identification) and the number of companies participating in the cross-border online sales.
Increase in the use of e-invoices is also a consequence of changes in public sector institutions, which is mandatory from 2015 on. However, sales within the SME companies has declined by 3 points from 15th to 18th place.
Compared to the previous year significant improvement has been made by re-use of public sector information particularly through open data usage and availability.
The report notes also that the transition to e-Government is still too slow, as well as that the implementation of digital public and services is not advanced sufficiently. Despite the efforts made by the national authorities in the introduction and implementation of e-services, the indicator clearly shows that the citizens do not use e-services, to a sufficient extent. This represents one of the major challenges which Slovenia will face in the future.
Whit similar problems also encountered in the companies, during the deployment of digital services in the business, so in addition to the digitization process it will be necessary in the future to include their employees and clients in the preparation of the digitisation process.
To the process of digitisation and to the involvement of stakeholders from government institutions to enterprises, with its SMART SPACE, BIFOCALPS, 3DCENTRAL and CARE4TECH project also contributes Technology Park.