Structures in transition

Ted Ritzer refers to a new study from IDC that analyzes spending on egovernment solutions in central and local public administrations. The study finds that with a compound annual growth rate of 8.8% from 2002 to 2007, egovernment will be one of the fastest-growing solution areas in Denmark. From the IDC press release:

But there are many challenges ahead before an efficient digital administration can exist in Denmark. These include political challenges such as the Structural Commission and expected changes to government structures. There are also IT challenges such as integrating applications, developing internal organizations and work processes, and getting more Danes to use digital signatures.

The “Structural Commission”, or the Commission on Administrative Structure, according to our Prime Minister, or the Structure Commission, according to Ritzau, who notes:

Not just a battle over lines on a map, Denmark’s sweeping Structure Reform package will overhaul the way this country’s manages public policy.

The more than 1.600 pages long final report from the Commission is only in Danish, and most of the media coverage about it also only in Danish.

ITEK, the Danish trade association for IT, telecommunications, electronics and communication enterprises commented and argued that the public sector needs to define common IT-standards at a government-wide, enterprise-level. ITB, the trade association for IT-companies, has calculated on what the transition will cost, and argues that the IT industry can look forward to around orders worth 20 billion Danish kroner (around US$3b) over the next 5-7 years.

No wonder Denmark came out numer 1 in IDC’s European eGovernment Services – Country Benchmarking and Market Forecast, 2002-2007. On this, ZDNet UK wrote: Scandinavian countries take e-government lead:

Denmark was best prepared for e-government both in the ability of the government to deliver services online and in the public’s willingness to use them. Sweden and Finland were also well-prepared.

I guess IDC wants to expand on the Danish market ;-) If IDC didn’t charge several $1000s for their report, I’d certainly get it and read it. But seriously, and of course very subjectively, I think we are doing quite well here in Denmark, and for the first time in years, I couldn’t think of a more interesting place to work with e-government issues. Thanks to IDC for confirming this.

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