The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the limited digital maturity of the Spanish business network. The Spanish economy is mainly based on unstable sectors that operate on a seasonal basis, such as tourism and the hotel and catering industry. However, few companies are actually generating new assets in the Digital Data Age.
Many businesses have been unable to continue with their commercial activity due to the closure of their physical premises, or have seen their income reduced because they can’t operate smoothly. And the fact remains that countries with a more digitalised business network have shown greater resilience in times of economic instability. It is not just about focusing on innovative sectors, such as Artificial Intelligence or Big Data, but also about being able to streamline business by optimising processes through new digital tools.
In this context, on 27 January, the Spanish Government announced the investment of more than 11,000 million Euros for the implementation of the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda.
A strategy to promote digitalisation in Spain with major investments that will be channelled to support SMEs, provide funds for Public Bodies and promote the digital competencies of citizens and Administration workers.
The three plans included in the Spain Digital 2025 Agenda are the following:
- Digitalisation Plan for SMEs
- Digitalisation Plan for Public Bodies
- National Plan of Digital Competencies
The SME Digitalisation Plan seeks to help recover the economy and the production network with more digital, streamlined and profitable companies that, in turn, are capable of creating more jobs. For instance, it will promote the adoption of new technologies and platforms that make it possible to streamline, in particular, all those daily and repetitive procedures, such as the signing of documents and the validation of invoices or delivery notes, in a way that opens the path towards a new flexible management model.
Among the advantages that highly digitalised businesses have shown during the pandemic, the ability to remain operational after implementing a remote working system stands out. Employee relocation is a powerful tool for companies that want to attract talent. In addition, a digitally-based business model that is capable of achieving a secure exchange of documents, and recruiting staff and signing agreements with suppliers and customers remotely, manages to generate more value and reduce costs.
The line of action for this plan has been divided into five axes:
- Basic digitalisation for SMEs
- Support for change management
- Disruptive innovation and digital entrepreneurship
- Support for sectoral digitalisation
- Coordination, efficiencies and reform
In the same way, Public Bodies have experienced a disorderly and often insufficient digitalisation process. The launch of the Public Body Digitalisation Plan is a commitment to reducing costs and time spent in daily procedures, while also establishing a more accessible model for citizens. This strategic focus will be developed in three areas of digitalisation within the Agenda:
- Digital transformation of Public Bodies.
- Digital transformation of Health and Justice services of the Ministry for Regional Policy.
- Digital transformation of the Autonomous Communities and Local Entities.
Finally, the National Plan for Digital Competencies seeks to stimulate the digital competencies of the Spanish population in order to transform the employment model and facilitate professional retraining processes. This plan has been developed around four axes:
- Transversal digital competencies.
- Digital transformation of education.
- Digital competencies for employment.
- Competencies for digital professionals.
These new measures are implemented in addition to other plans already approved by the Spanish Government, such as the Plan for Connectivity, the Strategy to Promote 5G and the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy. In total, an investment of more than 15,400 million Euros that will transform Spain and bring it closer to the economic model of the future.