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New Digital Strategy sets the course towards 2020

25-05-2016 Column

The Government, Local Government Denmark, and Danish Regions have agreed on the next Digital Strategy for 2016-2020, which is to help define the digital Denmark of tomorrow.

Much has happened since politicians adopted the previous Digital Strategy in 2011. The 2011 strategy was ambitious. It has left a huge fingerprint on Danish society and has produced good results. Some of the results of the strategy are Digital Post to citizens and businesses, implementation of mandatory digital self-service for more than 100 services, etc. Today, we are taking the next step with the launch of a new digital strategy. A strategy which is to build on the solid foundation achieved with the previous strategy, and which is to seize the new opportunities of digitisation.

Three objectives - 33 initiatives

The Digital Strategy is the product of a lengthy negotiation process launched back in early 2015. During the process, we have witnessed how digitisation has assumed a prominent place on the agenda in ministries, local governments and regions – and not least with politicians. This has made achieving success an exciting, but complex task. The new strategy is now ready for launch, and I believe that we can be more than pleased with the results. The 33 initiatives in the strategy represent an ambitious direction towards achieving the three overall objectives for the public sector in Denmark. 

We need to create a more cohesive and efficient public sector with high-quality services and welfare solutions. We need to exploit data as raw material for research, technology and innovation. We also need to ensure that development takes place with increased confidence in digital solutions, that personal data remains secure and that everyone can participate. 

This is no easy task, and requires continued good collaboration between ministries, local governments and regions. Extensive work on data, standards and architecture needs to be carried out while improving the level of service, and the level of security and stability of the public sector IT infrastructure.

A flagship for work by the Danish Agency for Digitisation
The strategy will not only impact the Danish welfare society, which is becoming increasingly digital. It will also play an important part in our internal work at the Agency. 

We must ensure that our organisation and employees are capable of dealing with the new challenges, and that they have the right competences when the many initiatives, e.g. in the data area, are launched. At the same time, we will continue our current efforts to conduct tendering procedures for the next generation of NemID, Digital Post, etc. 

The strategy will not resolve all of the problems we are experiencing with public sector IT and digitisation projects. There are still substantial challenges to be addressed, also outside the joint public sector framework set by this strategy. Just as technological development constantly brings about both new problems and new opportunities, I expect new initiatives to arrive in the years to come, as society develops and as we become more aware of the opportunities and challenges.

Finally, I would like to thank our partners in the central government, Local Government Denmark and Danish Regions for our collaboration on designing the new strategy. Denmark is a pioneer in public sector digitisation, not least because of our strong tradition for joint public sector collaboration on digitisation. We are looking forward to continuing this collaboration when, together, we will implement the initiatives in this strategy.  

Lars Frelle-Petersen