Has your time online increased because most parts of the physical world seemed to stand still? The pandemic has made it abundantly clear just how dependent we have become on cables, hardware, software, and platforms in several areas in life. Many of us are working from home, we’ve become frequent visitors of e-commerce sites and have started to meet in virtual chat rooms instead of the coffee shop next door. This digitally-dependent ‘New Normality’ has turned the spotlight on the importance and vulnerabilities of our current digital infrastructure. It’s becoming clear that innovation and investment into this digital infrastructure represents a major opportunity to enhance Swiss organisations and society.
The importance of a high-quality digital infrastructure
The quality of a digital society is measured by the efficiency of its digital infrastructure. In other words, improving the digital infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for the digital transformation of Switzerland. The demand for improved digital infrastructure in Switzerland is a natural consequence of our shifting behavior. This has been amplified by the circumstances of the last 18 months. During the pandemic, you may have struggled with slow internet speeds and other digital hurdles such as a secure data exchange, but you may also have discovered how well we can work from home. This sudden leap towards a more digital way of living and working shows us beyond any doubt how important a reliable and secure digital infrastructure has become.
Just as the pandemic has shown the importance of these digital foundations, it has also revealed the vulnerabilities of organisations and society. As the physical world seems to stand still, the digital presence (or absence) of private and public actors have become exposed. Without online shops, digital booking systems, virtual contact opportunities and online access to databases, many have not been able to deliver on their organisational or governmental mandate.
Digital Infrastructure as an Opportunity
We should not think of digital infrastructure as merely sustaining our personal and professional lives. Instead, we should see it as an area of differentiation for Switzerland and a major opportunity to create shared value for both private and public sector.
Therein, it’s important for us to recognise that digital infrastructure – as an area for innovation – is unique in at least two ways. First, truly meaningful advances can only be achieved by convening a number of transdisciplinary stakeholders with a common vision, or put differently, through collaborative innovation. Second, digital infrastructure covers a particularly broad spectrum of possibilities, and thus requires us to focus on a niche where we can have a disproportionate impact.
This begs the question: If we want to enhance the Swiss-made digital infrastructure, where do we focus our collective efforts?
In collaboration with the digitalswitzerland ecosystem, we’ve defined two specific focus areas that provide a particularly promising foundation for innovation. Specifically,
- Confidential Computing – As the promising technology of confidential data processing is finally achieving widespread popularity, it’s setting the ground for collaboration beyond cross-organisational datasets. Consequently, several data-sharing alliances are currently emerging, which represent a major opportunity for Swiss companies.
- Digital Municipal Government – Although all municipalities face similar challenges, only a few exploit the potential of digital solutions for their respective municipality. If they seize the opportunity to collaborate in this area, they will create a huge opportunity to improve the quality of life for Swiss citizens.
Let’s get to work
In May and June, we are hosting a workshop on each of these two focus areas to provide a forum for organisations to hear from topic experts and jointly ideate on collaborative solutions. The intent is to pave the way for a future where Switzerland’s digital infrastructure evolves with the pulse of time.
Do you want to explore how we can enhance Swiss-made digital infrastructure to create shared value for the economy and society? .
Participation upon registration – learn more and save your seat now.
***Please note that this event is reserved for digitalswitzerland members only.
Author: Melanie Holenweger