Digitization of Czechia conference: Is digitization priority no. 1 for Czechia?

Last year, when Estonia's former digital advisor Marten Kaevats joined our Digitization of Czechia session, he suggested to Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš that any minister of digitization should change his title to minister for getting stuff done. What Marten meant is that digitizing a country's public sector is an accumulation of projects, a sort of stacking of stone blocks that ultimately construct the pyramid.

Deputy Prime Minister Bartoš has been getting stuff done. At the Digitization of Czechia conference he sat with us again to outline his plans, and debate how we can help turn the country into digital leader in Europe. The one main message from both sides is that it cannot be accomplished without great work from the public sector, great work from the private sector, and the ability to cooperate despite different interests and philosophies of government. We deliver when we can agree on goals, and we talk until we can agree when our motivations do not match.

Increasing the number of talented people in ICT is a must. Martin Mesršmíd of DIA, the Czech Digital Agency, outlined the challenge his agency faces during his discussion with Michal Stachník of Cisco, Violeta Luca of Microsoft, and Jaroslava Rezlerová of ManpowerGroup Czech Republic. The countries moving fastest in digitizing tend to have a larger proportion of the workforce working in ICT (around 7% to Czechia's 4%). We need to reduce that gap. The only immediate solution is #immigration. Instead of country quotas, we could have qualification targets and award bonuses to the public officials who help reach them. Thank you for the interactive exchange of proposals on this issue.

Deputy Prime Minister for Digitization Ivan Bartoš and Director of Digitální a informační agentura - DIA Martin Mesršmíd also have the task of delivering the European Digital Wallet. The wallet creates some interesting possibilities for start-ups and individuals to do business across borders in the EU with greater trust and ease. The project is very ambitious, and different countries have different opinions on whether or how it should be done. We need to agree on our position, and argue it within the EU instead of standing skeptically on the sidelines. Thank you, Marek Růžička of Bankovní identita, Pavel Šiška of Deloitte and Jiří Sven Svěrák of Amazon Web Services for the discussion.

Construction permitting decides how fast an investment moves from handshake to creating jobs and paying taxes. Will the planned digitization close the gap? BIM is becoming the standard for digital land use software. Will Czechia adopt BIM or create its own system? Thank you very much to Pekka Virkamäki, Anna-Riitta Kallinen and Jukka Vasara for their valuable insights and discussions during the conference as well as in the course of your visit to Prague.

Thank you, Microsoft for hosting this event and Kateřina Anna Magnna and team for sharing details about the role of AI in providing better public services.

The key question remains: Is digitization priority no. 1 for Czechia?


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