The obstacles to digital transformation that politics must remove

The obstacles to digital transformation that politics must remove

The reduction of infrastructural and information disparities, but also the harmonization of rules, at the center of the dialogue promoted by the B20

(Photo: Getty) Too many disparities, starting with infrastructural ones, limit the true potential of transformation digital and it is up to decision makers to work to remove them. The verdict, and several suggestions for action, come from the meeting B20 - G20 Dialogue on Digital Transformation, an initiative promoted by B20 Italy.

Proposals and visions waiting to be accepted at the ministerial conference on digitization scheduled for next 5 and 6 August in Trieste. The G20, which has been the Italian presidency since last December, will stop in the city hosting 35 delegations from all over the world to talk about digital transformation. The event will be chaired by the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti and the owner of the department for technological innovation Vittorio Colao.

In view of this appointment, the virtual meeting of the engagement group that brings together companies and business organizations , Divided into two panels, gave a voice to the various representatives of the B20 Digital transformation task force, led by Maximo Ibarra (President Emma Marcegaglia to inaugurate the appointment: the Italian B20 is hosted by Confindustria, ed).

Borje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson, discussing digital transformation; Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler Group; Diane Wang, founder of; Dan Bryant, Walmart's senior vice president for global public policy and government affairs; Hans Paul Buerkner, global chair of the Boston Consulting Group; Rob Shiter, CEO of Enterprise BT; Giuseppina Di Foggia, CEO of Nokia Italy. Listening, but also the protagonist of an intervention, Minister Colao.

The work of the task force delivers different points of view on the needs connected to digital transformation, as many as the actors present at the discussion table (industrial groups, global consulting firms, retail players).

The recognition of digital as a driver to foster inclusion, create jobs, promote development unites them all, as well as the awareness of the obstacles that limit its full explosion. First of all, as also pointed out by Ibarra, billions of people are not yet connected and remain on the margins. Even where the infrastructural problem does not exist, there is however a strong lack of trust within the digital ecosystem. To create it, regulatory differences between countries; physiological collateral damage (cybersecurity), a lack of awareness of the concrete advantages, particularly in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Here are four basic priorities to act immediately: reducing disparities in terms of connection and access to different technologies; harmonize the principles governing the digital ecosystem, promoting security, protection and encouraging the adoption of interoperability policies through common standards. It is also necessary to support the public and private actors, overcoming the information gaps due to an absence of use cases and create a digitally ready society thanks to reskilling and training.

A theme, that of sharing experiences and the growth of digital awareness, which the B20 has decided to tackle in a pragmatic way, starting from the assumption that the technologies are now there but not everyone yet knows how to use them best. Hence the creation of a real Use Case Library with different success stories from multiple industrial fields (ten in total): practical applications intended for a wide audience. The library will be published on the B20 channels and will be available to the community and always open to new contributions.

If, as pointed out by Ibarra, the digital one is a transformation within others (environmental, educational) and the infrastructural makes the difference: as remarked by Borje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson in his speech, network infrastructures and connectivity are the priority requirements for any further discussion. To attract capital useful for investments in infrastructures it is necessary to simplify the rules, change the competitive dynamics, collectively create a good climate for investments, restrict the field of public intervention only to cases of market failure.

Numerous others, however. these are the recommendations of business leaders, considering that digitization does not only affect communication and commerce but also traditional and smaller industries. Of vital importance, the long-term involvement of the public in research and development on new technologies but also the strong cooperation with the private sector; a more marked exchange of information and exploration of collaboration opportunities as well as road maps and common platforms on major issues are desirable.

The great enabler par excellence, however, requires skills and therefore a much stronger investment in the people who must leave from very early school grades. In adulthood, however, it is a question of reskilling but in depth: the devices alone are not enough, training is needed, a need that is affirmed in the public and in the private sector even in small contexts. Technologies must be applied throughout the value chain and skills must enable employees to move into new occupations. Digital is not automatically inclusive; hence the need to promote the development of “entry points” for the excluded.

Suggestions are not lacking, in some cases they return. To welcome them, listening, Vittorio Colao, Minister of Digital Transformation, agrees on numerous points. Colao recognizes the need to act and implement, to push the culture of sharing best practices, to model the policy making process to create the best conditions for those who invest. However, it is Colao himself, as an "ex executive" (cit.) Who admits that certain distinctions are necessary and that, especially when it comes to reskilling the workforce, we must think differently for each category.

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