Recently, the European Commission has released the Digital Economy and Society Index, a composite index that summarizes relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of the EU Member States in digital competitiveness.
The Index assesses key dimensions of the European information society: Telecom sector, Broadband, Mobile, Internet usage, Internet services, eGovernment, eCommerce, eBusiness, ICT Skills, Research and Development.
StrategEast has interviewed leading experts from EaP countries on the perspectives of IT development in their countries. Here are the answers from the experts on Armenia.
Given the positive record of training in STEM subjects in post-Soviet countries and the latest success stories of ICT development in the region, do you think your country can compete with the EU states in terms of ICT sector development?
Undoubtedly, a “Soviet school” played a significant role in laying down the foundation for the contemporary ICT sector. However, that potential should be enhanced by adding market-oriented components, such as commercialization of a given project, adequate project management, etc. By introducing that policy, the ICT sector will become self-sufficient in terms of financial resources and less dependent on external resources. As for competition with the EU countries, this goal is feasible only in the case of finding a unique niche and promoting it or competing with less costly talent-related expenses.
What success stories can you name in e-government services?
During recent years, the Armenian government has implemented several activities aimed at improving e-service delivery. The main focus has been made especially on two components: Governmental Interoperability and Single Electronic Window. And although most of the current e-governance tools still need improvements, there are also some significant results. Successful projects include websites such as e-gov.am with its budget-presenting interactive tool and other government services provided through the internet; the unified website for publications of draft legal acts (www.e-draft.am), which enables more transparent and open discussion over drafts of legal acts; and the Harkatu.am website for monitoring the thousand highest taxpayers. In addition to that, the State Revenue Committee enhanced its computational capabilities by introducing and integrating a data analyzing system for research in the relevant field.
Can you say that your country possesses strong human capital, skilled in IT?
The success story of ArMath and TUMO — Center for Creative Technologies may hint toward big potential in Armenia for the ICT sector in terms of human capital. Specialized professional skills development programs are also offered by different organizations such as Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, Synopsys Inc, and others. The competition and quality of University programs with IT specializations have also risen but it is not always sufficient to meet the industry demands. The key is to release such projects from possible bureaucratic chaos and inefficiency, at the same time keeping a high level of integrity of the sector.
Hakob Hakobyan and Heghine Aleksanyan, analysts of the “Enlight” Public Research Center © All right reserved.
Original source: Strategeast