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Major public-sector IT solutions of the future

30-08-2016 Column

Work to prepare the digital infrastructure of the future is well underway. Ambitions are as high as the complexity of the work.

Denmark depends on a highly effective digital infrastructure, and there are great demands on it. It has to be robust and secure, while also being easy-to-use so that citizens, businesses, and public authorities feel confident when using it. 

The Agency for Digitisation is currently future-securing and developing vital IT solutions in the digital infrastructure in preparations for tendering procedures for NemID, Digital Post and NemLogin. These are large common public-sector IT solutions on which society deeply depends to pay bills, read digital post or to send information and use online self-service solutions. 

A reorganisation was implemented at the Agency for Digitisation from 1 August, and with the new organisation we are now ready to realise our high ambitions, not least to develop the infrastructure and execute the Digital Strategy 2016-2020. 

Solutions for the future

One of the fundamental aspects of our digital world is that technology and users’ expectations are changing ever more rapidly. For example, over just a few years we have become used to dealing with day-to-day errands on our tablets or smartphones. Clearly, digital services from the public sector have to be continuously developed to keep up-to-date and to exploit upcoming technological opportunities.

We need a good understanding of future user needs and we have to focus on the right possibilities, standards and technologies when deciding our direction for developing important solutions. For example, in future we may have to use biometrics, e.g. scanning the iris or fingerprints, to identify ourselves digitally. We have high ambitions for the future. 

Collaboration and dialogue with market

We are well on the way with market analyses and dialogue, and this dialogue will continue. We are well aware of the complex interplay between many needs, interests and dependencies, for example in Danish corporate solutions and specialist systems at the public authorities.
The aim is for a more agile infrastructure development and for more modular components. This means that it will become increasingly possible to adapt solutions as new technological possibilities arise. This will also make it possible to incorporate more suppliers with core competences within the new technologies.
Supplying the IT solutions desired will also require deep knowledge about user needs and market opportunities. Therefore, on behalf of the public sector, the Agency for Digitisation has entered into a new, ground-breaking partnership with the banks to develop and operate the solution that will replace the current NemID; a partnership that will contribute to a more innovative development that will benefit users of the solution. We also invite stakeholders to the public consultation on the next generation of Digital Post, so that we have constructive input to the future solution and so that we can continue our good dialogue with the market.

Competition means users have better solutions

New technological possibilities mean that more and new players can be considered. Therefore, we are also looking beyond Danish borders to seek out experience and what the market can offer. We are focusing on competition in our upcoming tendering procedures, and it looks as if there is great interest from large and small national and international players.

We are looking forward to further dialogue with the market and to finding suppliers to help us ensure that the Danish national digital infrastructure continues to be in a class of its own.

Lars Frelle-Petersen