Summary. Remit and points of departure

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1 Summary The digital society and the digital economy are already here. Digitalisation means that it is becoming natural for people, organisations and things to communicate digitally. This changes how we do things, how we experience things, how we approach tasks and how we find solutions. The use of new technology is changing the terms and conditions for businesses and the public sector, of careers and education and for trust and social cohesion in society. Digitalisation involves a revolutionary transformation of society's most important elements growth and sustainability, welfare and equality, security and democracy. The Digitalisation Commission has identified six strategic areas and submitted proposals that can make an initial contribution to the work that needs to be undertaken for Sweden to achieve the ICT policy goal. The Commission is focusing on those areas that are strategic to the central government and at the national level. Sweden urgently needs to choose strategic directions in order to ensure a successful digital transformation. This requires an integrated and long-term approach, in terms of both collaboration and prioritisation. Remit and points of departure The Digitalisation Commission's remit is to work towards ensuring that the ICT policy goal that Sweden is to be best in the world at exploiting the opportunities offered by digitalisation is achieved. This remit includes analysing the impact of digitalisation on Sweden, identifying strategic areas that should be taken into consideration in digitalisation policy, investigating needs for promotion at the national level and following up the work carried 1

2 out on the regional digital agendas. The Commission has also submitted proposals within the strategic areas. The transformative power of digitalisation For the past couple of decades, we have been caught up in societal developments that are catalysed, facilitated and driven by digitalisation. These developments involve entirely new opportunities for society and people. The Digitalisation Commission wants to shed light on these developments and on the significance of digitalisation within four areas of society in which there are both opportunities and challenges. The Commission has chosen a structure that divides society up into the following areas: the economy, work, social institutions and infrastructure. In each of these areas there is a description of developments on the basis of its core elements. The economy The economy is being radically transformed by digitalisation. Digitalisation creates entirely new conditions that challenge established business models and alters the very foundations of established structures. Certain physical goods are becoming digital services, digital platforms are streamlining, rationalising and internationalising services that were previously local, and traditional production made more efficient. The focus is moving away from private ownership towards access to goods or services and the individual is being placed at the centre of the economy in a new way. How the economy is developing as a result of digitalisation is described in relation to the enterprise sector, public services, the individual and the welfare system. Work Work is changing in a number of ways by digitalisation. Societal developments have resulted in an economy that is more knowledge 2

3 and service-based and increasing competition between countries, regions, businesses and individuals. In the knowledge society, the development and dissemination of knowledge is an important prerequisite for economic growth and the capacity for transition. The new jobs created as a result of digitalisation will primarily benefit those with a higher education, at the same time as demand increases in the local service sector. This places demands on the education systems and the forms for further education and continuing professional development. Major changes are taking place in the labour market and in the field of training and skills. This affects the work environment and the conditions and regulations in the labour market. Social institutions What characterises radical societal change is that it reshapes society from its very foundations. This has an impact on values, attitudes and behaviour, which has a knock-on effect on social cohesion and social interaction. Values are constantly developed and reshaped by people in society, their experiences and visions. Social institutions, in other words our values, our trust and social cohesion, are affected by digitalisation. In the future, this may be of significance to the design and form of democracy in practice. Laws and regulations are challenged by digitalisation. Infrastructure People, things, events and processes are increasingly linked to each other via the internet. Functional and accessible infrastructure is vital and there is a need to design new ways to measure and produce new indicators in order to monitor developments. The internet creates vast quantities of data that can be used to generate value and benefit. Open data is crucial to these developments. This involves both access to data and the infrastructure's functionality. Understanding and managing the complexity of this is also crucial for developing privacy protection and security. 3

4 The Commission's assessments The Digitalisation Commission's assessment is that the Government should work continuously and systematically in six strategic areas that are decisive in terms of responding to the opportunities and challenges of societal development. The Commission has chosen a number of points of departure that have formed the basis from which these strategic areas have been identified. The points of departure have been formulated as standpoints for reasons of clarity and transparency. They are that: The sustainable society is the goal The opportunities presented by digitalisation to create a sustainable society need to be harnessed. The sustainable society encompasses three dimensions: the environment, the economy and social conditions. The public sector has to be proactive Sweden is one of the most world's most successful countries in terms of using ICT and the opportunities afforded by digitalisation and the public sector has contributed to creating the conditions for this. The public sector must be proactive in order to realise the potential of digitalisation. Leadership is required at all levels of the public sector The potential of digitalisation is realised when operational development is integrated with digitalisation. Digital tools and services facilitate new processes, forms and ways not only of offering public services to people, but also of organising and administering the public sector. This places demands on the political and administrative leadership at all levels. 4

5 Innovation and development in the enterprise sector has to be promoted Through digitalisation, innovation and development builds, to some extent, on new types of assets and resources for creating value. The digital economy involves a transition from the industrial society's hierarchically controlled processes, with their focus on products for a mass market, to user-centred, individualised digital services. Critical mass needs to be achieved Change processes and development efforts often take place when the incentives are sufficiently strong. Critical mass is often required for a process to be set in motion or for a change to take place. This is about what is required for a self-sustaining chain reaction that leads to a desired quantitative or qualitative improvement. The point of departure that critical mass needs to be achieved has guided the Commission's work. Strategic areas The Commission has identified six strategic areas that should be prioritised in future digitalisation policy. 1. Continuous central government engagement in promoting the digitalisation of society 2. Regulations that function in and for the digital transformation 3. Skills for the digital society 4. Infrastructure that promotes digitalisation 5. Data-driven innovation for growth 6. Security and integrity in a digital age The purpose of these areas is to provide an opportunity to focus on areas that are and will be significant to the digitalisation of society in the foreseeable future. This provides a structure for policy and a clarity and stability for the actors affected by the direction in which 5

6 central government is aiming. In these areas, the Government should undertake a long-term effort to, on the one hand, provide favourable conditions for future efforts and, on the other, to create stability, credibility and confidence in the policy. Continuous central government engagement in promoting the digitalisation of society Over the years, central government control has undergone major changes as a result of societal development. The public administration has been decentralised, and management by objectives predominates. As an increasing number of areas are cross-sectorial or horizontal, new forms of central government control and central government initiatives have been designed. The national initiatives to promote use of the opportunities presented by digitalisation need to encompass systematic knowledge-building regarding contemporary and future issues, analysis to identify benefits, value and challenges, support for government agencies and municipalities' development efforts, the development of strategic collaboration and the production of various kinds of policy documents. The Digitalisation Commission believes that the transformative power digitalisation means for society entails the need for continuous and long-term central government engagement in developing forms for, and the use of, soft governance that promotes development. Regulations that function in and for the digital transformation For many organisations, digitalisation means that some existing legislation impedes development. However, it also means that some areas need stricter regulation as new phenomena emerge. Regulations that function in and for the digital transformation is an issue that the government continuously needs to take into account, monitor and adapt to. 6

7 Skills for the digital society Societal development will place continual requirements on the digital skills of people in their private life and as part of society, as well as in their education and working life. Lifelong learning, education, continuing professional development and re-training are becoming increasingly important for individuals, businesses and society. But there is also a need for the theoretical and practical skills to utilise digitalisation for business development, value creation and innovation in order to provide continued prosperity and growth. Taking advantage of the collective skills of the whole of society requires a more equal gender balance in the field of ICT. Infrastructure that promotes digitalisation Access to broadband and soft infrastructure is essential to improved competitiveness and opportunities to increase efficiency, which are vital to both the private and public sectors. For the individual, access to good ICT infrastructure is fundamental. A high use of electronic communications among households and businesses is making the development of new and better services and other innovations possible. Data-driven innovation for growth Data-driven innovation is an area of growing importance for sustainable growth, competitiveness and welfare. In a digitalised world information is a central component in creating new and improved services. Innovation is also crucial to ensure that businesses and economy at large prosper in global competitive markets. Security and integrity in a digital age Systems at the societal level must be secure, both to enable society to function at all and so that people feel confident and secure. Crime must be tackled, both that which targets individuals and that targeting businesses or central government. At the same time, a 7

8 strong focus on systemic security can sometimes lead to forms of surveillance and violations of people's personal integrity that can in turn have a detrimental impact on both levels of trust in society and trust of that society. For this reason, security and integrity on the internet, as well as trust in both the technology and society, represent a crucial issue for societal development through digitalisation. The Commission's proposals The Commission has submitted a number of proposals in the strategic areas that address the societal developments that are taking place as a result of digitalisation. Continuous central government engagement in promoting the digitalisation of society National promotion and support for digitalisation The Government should ensure there is continuity in the promotion of and support for digitalisation in Sweden. A commission of inquiry should be appointed to propose an organisational structure that contributes to knowledge-building, analysis, support and the development of strategic collaboration. Statistics for a digitalised society The Government should commission Statistics Sweden to review statistical areas that are affected by digitalisation. 8

9 Regulations that function in and for the digital transition Survey to determine if legislation impedes digitalisation The Government should conduct a survey to determine which legislation might impede digitalisation. The results of the survey should be evaluated and analysed in order to propose appropriate measures with which to develop these issues further. Review of labour and consumer laws in the new digital economy The Government should review whether labour law and consumer legislation need to be adapted to the utilisation and sharing economy. Review of the social insurance system to adjust it to the new digital economy The Government should review the present design of social insurance taking into consideration new and altered conditions in the labour market made possible by digitalised societal development. Skills for the digital society Incentive programme to achieve greater gender balance in higher ICT education An incentive programme should be established in order to achieve a greater gender balance in higher ICT education. 9

10 Digital skills initiative for municipal leaders The Government should, with the agreement of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, implement a digital skills initiative for managers from municipal organisations. Collaboration for digital jobs A collaboration council should be established to develop university ICT study programmes. This council should include representatives from industry and academia in order to meet the needs that exist in the enterprise sector. Programme to promote enterprise digitalisation The Government should task the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth with establishing a programme to promote the digitalisation of the enterprise sector, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. Review of the digital work environment The Government should commission the Swedish Work Environment Authority to conduct a review of the digital work environment and how it is managed in accordance with applicable legislation. Infrastructure that promotes digitalisation Digital post from central government agencies Physical mail handling should be phased out from central government agencies, and all individuals and businesses should be given access to a digital mailbox. It should be possible for 10

11 individuals or businesses to make an active choice to retain traditional mail handling. Data-driven innovation for growth Develop a strategy for data-driven innovation The Government should task VINNOVA with developing a proposal for a national strategy for data-driven innovation. A national centre of excellence for big data The Government should task VINNOVA with establishing a national centre of excellence for methods of collecting, analysing and processing large quantities of data. Recommendations The Commission also recommends that the National Agency for Public Procurement establish a forum for collaboration and dialogue regarding procurement that promotes digitalisation. Furthermore the Agency should design means to support contracting entities' compliance with the amendment to the Swedish Public Procurement Act brought about through stricter requirements with respect to accessibility for people with disabilities or design on the basis of opportunities for all. Regional digital agendas The Digitalisation Commission has previously carried out two situational analyses of the counties' work on the regional digital agendas. At the time of the latest follow-up, five counties had adopted their agendas, while the remaining 16 counties' agendas were at different stages of completion. A third follow-up of the counties' work on these agendas has been carried out in A further nine counties have adopted 11

12 their agendas, which means that a total of 14 counties now have a regional digital agenda. All the counties that have adopted an agenda believe that it has contributed to increased activity and continuing efforts are based on collaboration through existing networks and structures within the regions. These counties emphasise the need for collaboration to drive the digitalisation process forward. The content of the agendas varies greatly, and each of the counties has clear ideas about their areas of strength. Issues relating to digitalisation are perceived by all to be priorities in the strategic development process, both municipally and regionally. Some of the factors emphasised as particularly important to the success of continuing efforts are captured in keywords such as collaboration, engagement, desire, cooperation, skills, coordination, support, knowledge, resources, unity and participation. A number of specific areas have been identified at the national, regional and municipal levels in order to drive continuing efforts forward. The principal challenge is considered to be a lack of financing from national and regional sources. 12

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