We Need to Stay Ahead When It Comes to Digitalization

11 december 2017

There is no falling behind when it comes to digitalization — you have to get ahead. There is no doubt that it is important to take into account the experience of economies that have successfully gone through digitalization. Two leading experts in this field, Randeep Sudan from the World Bank and Rafal Rohozinski from the SecDev Group, Canada, spoke about global digital economy trends during a round-table meeting at the Analytical Center.

Speaking about global trends in the digital economy, Randeep Sudan, a leading specialist and the Advisor on Digital Strategy and Government Analytics at the World Bank, stressed that digitalization went at a very high pace. "In 2016, the global economy worldwide was 15.5% digital — that is worth about $11.5 trillion. This indicator is expected to grow to 24.3% ($23 trillion) by 2025," said Mr. Sudan. The digital economy will not only grow 5 times faster than other non-digital industries, but will also create new conditions and opportunities for their growth. AI, blockchain technologies, and "digital twins" — these technologies have already been recognized as long-term trends. New technologies will entail new business models, and it is going to happen very quickly. In this context, however, it is evident that the adaptation of people will be slower, the expert believes.

According to him, much depends on legislation. And the government's role in the age of rapid technological change is to introduce good regulation. Singapore serves as a successful example of such a practice: there is a special Centre for Strategic Futures in the Prime Minister’s Office, whose experts forecast developments, collect the latest top tech projects and adapt them to the needs of Singapore.

Rafal Rohozinski, the co-founder and Director of the SecDev Group (Canada), focused on cyber security issues, which, in his opinion, are an inseparable part of fundamental security needs. He highlighted two significant figures: 70% and 51%. According to the expert, the fact that North America is the home of the Internet is a myth: 70% of the global Internet is in the Eurasian region, which is also responsible for 51% of all IT costs. Therefore, Russia is at the very center of new trends development, Rohozinski believes.

When talking about cyber security, in the first place, he means people, and not technologies, since 2/3 of the world population use Internet today — mostly young people, the so-called Generation D (digital). "These are young people under 25 years of age. Today, they are part of the productive age group, they accelerate innovations, and they are the ones who can lose or win from the development of the digital economy; and this is a global phenomenon," the expert believes.

According to the expert, the number of users of the Web is growing at a tremendous rate: for example, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and not the United States, India or China make up the majority of Internet users.

"Mass Internet usage brings new challenges for cyber security, because new cyber opportunities mean new cybercrimes," he believes. The Internet can be a platform for drugs, arms and human trafficking, and this is not only a technological factor. 

Watch the full video via the link.

The Digital Economy of the Russian Federation program, approved in July 2017, is designed to solve unprecedented task of developing the most important areas related to the digitalization of the economy: statutory regulation, development of research competencies and technological capacities, informational infrastructure, information security, human resources, and education.