Experts Go Behind Development of Digital Technologies in the Regions

30 july 2019

Are digital economy development programs being implemented in the Russian regions? Which blueprint end-to-end digital technologies are given priority in the regions? Which industries will see the implementation of digital technologies first and foremost? Which projects can be called "landmark" digital economy projects? These issues were raised by the Analytical Center experts in their survey of the regional executive authorities.

The survey was conducted from April 30 to May 17, 2019. The responses are received from 79 subjects of the Russian Federation, of which 34 regions report that the regional digitalization program has been developed or undergoes development, while 45 regions admit that they either lack or have not commenced the development of the regional digitalization program.

Certainly, high IT penetration and automation levels are essential preconditions for the digitalization of economy branches, experts admit. It is therefore obvious that the regions emphasized programs and projects focused at IT infrastructure development and implementation of automated information systems (AIS).  That said, the highest priority given to IT penetration in public administration does not evidence a lack of digitalization projects in other branches of the region's economy.

Most of the regional digital economy projects are implemented in the areas similar to federal projects under the national program Digital Economy, such as information security, information infrastructure, digital technologies, statutory regulation of the digital environment, workforce for the digital economy, digital public administration.

Top-priority end-to-end digital technologies (EEDT) are represented by big data (80% of the surveyed regions) and wireless communications (63%). Popular EEDT also include Industrial Internet and Internet of Things (53%), neurotechnologies and artificial intelligence (47%), distributed ledger systems (43%), virtual and augmented reality technologies (30%), new production technologies (28%), robotics components and sensorics (27%).

Digital technologies are primarily implemented in the areas like healthcare (75% of the regions), urban environment (75% of the regions), workforce and education (66%), transport and communications, including wireless communications and digital mobility (61%), public utilities and the energy sector (56%). Other priorities include agriculture and forestry, culture and tourism, public and municipal services and administration (including digital government), construction and production sector.

Results from the survey showed that the regions treat public administration, including public services and public finance projects as "landmark". Such projects feature the most significant expected and achieved effect of implementation and are primarily funded out of the regional budget. Many regions implement regional healthcare information systems and automation systems for emergency medical services operations, automated education management systems, road traffic photo and video recording systems.

For detailed results from the survey, please see the analytical report "Current Status of the Digital Economy Development Projects in the Russian Regions".