Digital economy will increase productivity

11 september 2017 | RBC-TV

The First Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, Vladislav Onishchenko, told RBC how Russia is implementing the digital transformation of its economy, what professions will be in demand in the future, what the risks of the transformation are, and how these risks were taken into account in the development of the Digital Economy Program.

Vladislav Onishchenko
Vladislav Onishchenko
Deputy Head

Computers have been a part of our lives for more than 20 years. However, if in the past digital technologies were just supporting aids for a number of industries, they are now at the forefront, and their role in social and economic development is becoming increasingly important, Mr. Onishchenko says.

The State Digital Economy Program is designed to create the conditions for the breakthrough of new digital technologies and businesses, and to adapt the entire existing social and economic apparatus to the needs and requirements of digitalization. The novelty involves a generalized increase in the competitiveness of the economy through the introduction of new digital technologies, Mr. Onishchenko pointed out. Russia is no exception in this regard, and many countries in the world are developing long-term strategies for the development of digital technologies and the digital transformation of their economies.

"The state sees its role primarily in the removal of the archaic restrictions on the development of digital technologies," Mr. Onishchenko said. The expert named the five pillars of the program. The first one lies in the transformation of the legislation to make it fit into a new reality. The second one involves restructuring of the existing and development of an advanced training system due to to the requirement of enhanced computer literacy. And the third one is digital infrastructure: enabling access to computer technology and the broadband Internet connection for the public and in this regard Russia has been quite successful compared to the rest of the world. The fourth one will involve the development of fundamental and applied branches of science and technological development for new cross-cutting technologies. And the fifth issue is the digital security of both personal data and the system as a whole. The program will further include industry-specific areas, the expert added. To date, he named the "Digital State", "Digital Health", and "Smart City" as the most developed areas.

A major discussion about the development of the digital economy is provoked by the employment issue - there are certain concerns that some professions may become irrelevant and therefore some specialists will not be in demand anymore. The program provides for 2 mechanisms that will prevent the risks associated with the disappearance of a number of traditional occupations, Mr. Onishchenko explained. A system of training and continuous personnel development is envisaged. The future employment of young people must be based on the realities of the digital economy. The system of higher education and professional postgraduate education should be restructured. Thanks to digital technologies every resident of the country shall have access to future-oriented quality education. "In addition, this is not a one-step risk. Professions will not disappear overnight, nor will it happen in a year or even 10 years. And a targeted long-term policy will help the system to adapt to new realities," the expert assures.

Mr. Onishchenko believes that it is important that the Digital Economy Program has not been developed based on the state perceptions of an ideal economy, but rather on the realities that we are already facing today. "The content of each direction of the program is formed by businesses, not the state. Of course, the program consists of a system of measures and activities, but these activities are offered by business representatives, united around the centers of competence," Mr. Onishchenko said.

Source: RBC (Part 1, Part 2)