The digital economy program relates to the economy rather than to digital technologies

29 september 2017

"Digital transformation changes very quickly both technologies themselves and business models of communication among people, socializing and forms of governmental governance," said Mr Maxim Akimov, First Deputy Head of the Administration of the Russian Government, at the round table "Analysis of International Experience in Governmental Regulation of Digital Economy Matters and Platform Solutions: Focus on Singapore" that was recently held in the Analytical Center.

According to Mr Maxim Akimov, the state is not the only leader in this field. "To a large extent, this is a citizen who is at the center of such transformations and is very mobile and global. The business is nearby," he said. This is confirmed by the program "Digital Economy of Russia". Mr Akimov thinks that it relates to the economy rather than to digital technologies. "It involves creating an institutional society and supporting fast changes, especially in some branches of the economy. In the fields where this does not require global technological breakthroughs," he explained.

Mr Akimov reminded that the program comprised five fundamental areas: statutory regulation, human resources and education, development of research competencies and technological capacities, informational infrastructure, and information security. "The program will develop, because it is a living organism,' said Mr Akimov. "We have a great deal of work to do in such areas as e-heathcare, smart city, educaional technologies, smart energy, transport and logistics. Innovations in these areas are already mature and it is clear what exactly we need to change and implement."

The key reporter at the round table was Mr Chang Chou Hou, IT Director of the Government of Singapore and Deputy Head of the technological development agency GovTech Singapore. The expert said that to maintain a high life quality level and create additional opportunities for citizens, the Government of Singapore launched the Smart Nation initiative in 2014 where five key areas were identified: urban mobility, network society, business profitability, e-healthcare, and governmental services. To implement the initiative, they established the coordination office and the Governmental Technology Agency GovTech that managed the national infrastructure and Smart Nation platform.

"We started such digital transformation 3.5 years ago and realized in the very beginning that we would have  to defy existing stereotypes, as they would hinder in our work. But we may defy based on data, design and democratization only," said the expert. "Data are the key to everything. They are to be collected and stored in catalogs and search engines." As to democratization of technologies, we should mention a huge number of startups. Of course, their emergence is caused by cloud technologies, thinks the specialist. "Design is of no less importance in this process. But you should put yourself in the place of a user, not the government. The government considered itself as the central link for a very long time. Now everything has changed dramatically: interactive communication of the government and citizens is required," said Mr Chang Chou Hou.

However, everything is much more complicated in Russia: federal level, regional authorities, and municipal entities, therefore taking into consideration international experience, our country will have to develop its own ecosystem of digital economy.