Close the digital divide
The digital divide in infrastructure needs to be closed rapidly, mainly by increasing ADSL coverage and speed. Initiatives in this area are already under way, with public investments managed by the Ministry of Economic Development and private telecom operators investing to extend the fixed broadband network. Investments in widening mobile coverage are also in progress.
Plan for the next-generation access networks
A clear road map should be plotted for the implementation of next-generation access networks, both in fixed lines (fiber development) and mobile (e.g., 4G). On fixed lines, several initiatives have been launched in recent years to address the development of NGANs, but no common agreement has been reached, either on the business plan or on the technical standard to be adopted. What is now needed is a common agreement on the operational implementation plan. On mobile, the auction of 4G frequencies is now closed, and the most rapid deployment possible is now needed.
Help harmonize European digital regulation
Italy should play an active role in European discussions on digital regulation to influence the global agenda at European level and drive cross-country harmonization. National implementation of European directives should comply with the European framework in the most coherent manner possible, taking into account the guidance provided by the European Court of Justice and fostering an open dialogue among European policy-makers in charge of data protection.
Create a strategic advisory board for digital policy
An interdisciplinary strategic advisory board for digital policy should be established, with the official recognition of the prime minister’s office. Members would include private companies, academics, representative of civil society and judges, all with knowledge and interest in technical innovation. The group would play an advisory role in making decisions on digital policy matters.
Build consumer Web awareness
Thematic awareness-building and communication campaigns should be launched to increase knowledge of the Web’s potential for creating value, to disprove baseless fears regarding security, address delivery concerns, and heighten awareness regarding consumer rights. The campaigns should be promoted as “pubblicità progresso” and enhance transparency on all relevant consumer rights.
Promote innovative delivery of purchased goods
To reduce logistical barriers, innovative and flexible delivery mechanisms for online purchased goods should be promoted. A new innovative model can be exploited following European examples, by creating partnerships with postal operators, logistics companies, and retailers network, allowing customers to buy online without worrying about not being home for delivery.
Launch regional digital road shows for SMEs
Regional road shows for small and medium-sized enterprises should be launched to motivate their online strategies and increase their capabilities. The road shows would have the twofold objective of increasing awareness of the value of ICT technologies as a lever for growth and productivity for SMEs and of providing SMEs with practical suggestions and examples on how to build an effective Web strategy.
Support SMEs e-commerce business
A structural and comprehensive approach to e-commerce is needed by SMEs. Industry-changing effects could be achieved on a larger scale with more generic, non-industry specific offerings. The government could for instance sustain the development of e-commerce business by providing incentives to companies adopting it. In addition, burdensome regulatory barriers should be reduced.
Promote and increase the user-friendliness of existing e-government services
Awareness and user-friendliness of existing e-government services could increase the familiarity of the population with Web-based services. In the last few years many e-government services have been developed. Their visibility and usability should now be improved through focused awareness-building campaigns and an enhanced user experience; a proven means of doing this is to concentrate services in a “one-stop” online shop.
Online public services
Plan a high quality digital training
High-quality digital training programs are needed by students, executives, SME owners, and professionals. Such program can be only created in a collaborative effort, involving preeminent universities, the school system in general, private companies, and category associations. Digital education should also be offered in primary school and high school, and in the form of adult education to professionals and entrepreneurs.
Digital skill levels
Create a Digital Experience Factory
The Digital Experience Factory is a real factory, in which entrepreneurs and employees, especially those of small and medium-sized enterprises, gain awareness of the power of digital tools and the wherewithal to use them. The Digital Experience Factory is designed to build e-skills and capabilities in innovation and is based on creating a work experience for participants, in a proven approach already successfully applied internationally. The format has been tested in the field of lean manufacturing in several “model factories” around Europe.
Digital skill levels
Encourage digital start-ups
Providing incentives to entrepreneurs and investors for starting up digital businesses can be a very effective way to develop, attract and retain digital professionals. A structural effort is now needed from the public sector to achieve a digital entrepreneurial environment and to sustain it over the long term.
Digital skill levels