In the last decades, ICT has become the major factor of growth and development throughout the world. Keeping up with developments in this sector is increasingly important for both international organisations and nation states. Results of e-readiness analysis can be used to further develop and better integrate ICT advances.
Conclusions of assessment report
Estonian ICT infrastructure developed during the last ten years together with the willingness of most Estonians to take advantage of the new emerging technologies, has paid off – Estonia enjoys one of the highest Internet, mobile phone and PC penetration rates in Central and Eastern Europe.
Estonian developments in the ICT sector have so far been initiated and largely financed by the public sector. At last, it seems that the public-private partnership has started to develop – with the founding of Look@World Foundation, private sector companies made a decisive move in helping the people who have so far not taken up the habit of using a computer and Internet.
The government has not invested into ICT as extensively as other countries in Europe. However, with scarce resources, the investments made have been generally objective and rational. Also, the smallness of the country might be an advantage – local governments are forced to join their resources when creating information systems.
Areas that need to be addressed
The Government needs to address the issue of emerging digital divide between Internet users and non-users. Since increasingly more services are provided only online, it may well happen that two different groups take up different attitudes towards the state as the services provided and information received differs more and more from the perceptions of the other group.
The establishment of the citizen-centred e-state and development of the framework for customer-friendly business-to-consumer and business-to-business services should be a priority. All the preconditions are already there – they should be utilised.
It is very ambitious for Estonia to try to follow the example of the Nordic countries, as these countries are among the group of countries leading ICT developments in the world. Estonia should try to learn from them and pay more attention to R&D investments, start a national dialogue and focus on cooperation among actors.