Estonia: a Forerunner in Digitalization

To begin with, we, as a part of today’s community of people, live in a world that is constantly changing. And, generally speaking, the 21st century often related to as the information age or the time in the history of technology. In fact, all kinds of digital technologies put into everyday life. Digitalization affects everything that can be digitized. Making us more and more dependent on technology. Can you imagine the present age without digital technologies and inventions of new things? Having said that, let’s explore the situation in the European Union (EU).

Estonian desi rankings

By Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2017 rankings, countries such as Denmark, Finland, and Sweden have the most advanced digital economies in the EU. The digitalization economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies. And is possible through the process of digitalization. It is also swiftly developing all over the world. Therefore constantly changing the world as we know it today. Also, DESI used to track the progression of EU member states in digital competitiveness through five linking components. Connectivity, workers, use of the internet, integration of digital technology, digital public services.

The latest statistic shows that in DESI rankings Estonia places in the ninth position overall. Estonia falls behind the Nordic countries said before. As well as other European countries such as the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, the data also shows us that Estonia is the leading country in the EU in the online put. Into operation of digitalization public services. The focus is mainly based on short for an electronic government. This feature used to measure the success and development of such things as digitization and modernization of public services. That can lead to effectiveness both for the groups of managers and people. As a result, a country with only 1.3 million residents is a close rival to its Nordic neighbours. So, what is the story behind the success of Estonia?

The picture shows statistics of digital economy and society
Picture 1: Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2017

eGovernment services of digitalization

As we can see eGovernment services in the EU 2016, online public these days are becoming easier to use in the whole Europe. To illustrate, 81% of data now digitalized, available online. One of the important things of Estonia’s success, for instance, is the creation of e-Estonia. A long movement by the government whose goal is to combine person interactions with the state using many electronic solutions. Such as e-Residency, e-School, e-Tax, i-Voting and many others. Estonia has received worldwide recognition as a digitalization community of people. And often believed as one of the most technologically smart communities in the world.

So, by using different parts of integrated e-services, Estonia has become a better functioning state. By helping its people to save a great amount of time and energy in everyday life. For example, people of Estonia don’t have to worry about spending hours in a line while waiting for a doctor or in voting. Instead, a prescription for medicine can buy online. The same as participating in elections is possible online, regardless of your location. All you have to do is check your identity using an ID card.

As well as, people in charge of Estonia spent many years trying to find out the best way for exchanging important data. As the years went by, in 2014 Estonia shocked the world by the first country to offer e-Residency. It is a transnational identity available to anyone, despite their location. As referred to e-estonia.com homepage, e-Residency offers to every world person a government-issued digital identity. As well as, the opportunity to run a trusted company online, freeing the world’s entrepreneur.

X-Road is a very important tool or for making integrated e-services in Estonia possible. It was designed already back in 2001. And ever since then has been constantly improved. X-Road is important between diverse databases. Therefore, making all kinds of data easily accessible by the people in charge that approved. In fact, sharing data between countries, not only locally. Now is slowly becoming more and more possible. For instance, Estonia and Finland are linking their electronic health records.

The picture shows network of digitalization
Picture 2: X-Road connecting many databases

Last but not least, Toomas Hendrik Ilves,  president of Estonia, believes that Estonia has one of the cleanest governments in the world. For that people’s trust in the Estonian government is at a high level. Estonia is attracting many small business starters from all over the world. Until now, nearly 6000 e-Residency cards have been given to people in 119 different countries. To sum up, the statistic about the success of Estonia speaks for itself. Making us wonder how a big role in the time history of technology Estonia will play in the following years.

 

References:

DESI                    Digital Economy                   eGovernment                              e-Residency

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