Moving to a new country can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a challenge, particularly when it comes to adapting to the local culture and way of life. One area, that can be especially frustrating, is the availability and efficiency of public sector digital services. As someone who moved abroad, I was surprised to find that the digital services and digital mindset I had taken for granted in my home country existed only partially in my new location.
The world is changing rapidly, and digital solutions and new technologies are playing a critical role in shaping our future. However, some countries are further ahead in their digital transformation journey than others. If we do not accelerate our efforts in this regard, we risk losing our competitiveness on a global scale. In this blog post, I will explore the importance of digital transformation and how it can be accelerated through a shift in mindset and the adoption of best practices.
Digital transformation involves more than just the transformation of analog processes to digital ones. It’s a big change and in core of this change are the people and culture. Policymakers, businesses, and individuals must work together to drive the adoption and effective use of digital technologies. One of the significant challenges is the need for a mindset shift that recognises the extensive potential benefits of digitalisation and is excited about embracing change. A positive mindset that is risk-taking and open to experimentation is necessary to drive innovation and accelerate digital transformation. It’s clear that a mindset shift is not easy and that it takes time. Nevertheless, countries must start to prioritize this topic and focus on developing the skills and expertise required to support digital transformation.
To accelerate the digital transformation process, countries can also learn a lot from best practices of those that have taken a leading role in digitalisation. Estonia is a prime example of a country that has successfully transformed its digital landscape. Estonia’s implementation of e-government services, eID and signatures, and secure data exchange systems has revolutionised the way people interact with their government. Estonia’s eID is mandatory and has existed for 20 years. It’s the cornerstone of the e-state, and together with the ecosystem around it it’s a part of any natural and legal person’s daily transactions. eID can be used for a wide range of services e.g., identification, banking, i-voting, signing documents, e-commerce and client cards, gym membership, health insurance card, access health information and e-prescription. This has resulted in significant savings in time and costs for individuals, businesses, and the state. The ease of accessibility and the wide range of services has not only helped people to adapt to digitalisation, but also instilled trust in online interactions and digital public services, creating parallel a surge in demand for smart digital services. eID has been one of the driving forces in promoting digital public services and leading to a digital mindset. This cornerstone among other great initiatives, e.g. e-Residency program, allows Estonia today to proudly call itself “The most advanced digital society in the world.”
Digital transformation is vital for the growth and competitiveness of any country in today’s world. Each country has its unique challenges, but learning from best practices around the world can provide valuable insights, enabling nations to tailor proven solutions to their specific contexts. The benefits of a digitally advanced society are clear, including enhanced productivity, innovation, and an improved quality of life.
e-Residency of Estonia is a government-issued digital identity which gives global entrepreneurs remote access to the world’s most digital country. It provides the possibility to securely authenticate yourself online and sign documents using the most secure and efficient electronic signatures. Plus, the ability to start and run a company 100% online from anywhere.
The Importance of Mindset
In conclusion, embracing a mindset that embraces change and recognices that it is vital for growth and innovation is crucial for accelerating digital transformation. Leaders must promote a culture of continuous improvement and challenge the status quo to stay competitive. Otherwise, they risk falling behind and long-term losing the welfare, which was established in the past. By studying best practices and adopting a positive mindset, countries can accelerate digital transformation and reap the benefits of a digitally advanced society.
If the topic raised your interest reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Written by: Sandra Binninger (Estonian Digital Transformation & change enthusiast located in Germany