Giuseppe Virgone, Team for the digital transformation of the Government
Italy is near the bottom of the DESI Index that tracks the situation on digitalization across Europe, but in the 2019 edition it has moved up a place (from 19th to 18th) in the section on digital public services, rising 8.8 points (to a total of 58.7) compared to the European average, which grew 5 points (to a total of 62.9). If we were 8 points below the European average in the 2018 DESI, we’ve now cut the gap in half to 4.2. This means that the work done by the Digital Transformation Team, which has attempted to upgrade the country’s public service platforms, is beginning to bear fruit. We still have a long way to go of course, but governments in Italy are starting to see digitalization as a priority and trying to ensure continuity in digital policy. The Digital Team is a clear demonstration of this.
The main challenge in the world of public services is to get the state to directly reach citizens with its services and not vice versa. Digital development means managing to provide innovative, easy-to-use services that cater comprehensively for citizens’ needs and habits online. In this, technology is offering a big opportunity to reach people at any time, directly on their smartphones, and in an effective, intuitive and personalized way.
Businesses that provide digital solutions now have a great opportunity to expand their services exponentially thanks to the integration and personalization that technology brings, also in the public services sector. The other side of the coin is that management of innovative services requires unfailing attention and responsibility in crucial areas like data security, privacy protection, and accessibility. Thanks to their broad-based presence across the country, companies like Sisal have enormous experience in different contexts and understand how people use services. This experience is a resource that also brings with it great responsibility in the process of Italy’s digitalization, that of being the first to accompany people in their choice of and increasing interaction with digital services. This difficult task can be completed with effective, intuitive and simple-to-use digital solutions based on people’s real needs. This is the best recipe for digital transformation.