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🎙️ e-Estonia podcast: X-Road®, the foundation of e-state, turns 20!

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X-Road®, considered the foundation of the Estonian e-state, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
To properly mark the occasion, Florian Marcus – our Digital Transformation Adviser and our podcast host, sat down with Taavi Meinberg, Product Owner of the X-Road at the Estonian Information Systems Authority, and Arne Ansper, the Head of Development at Cybernetica, to talk about the history, milestones, and the next 20 years of the X-Road®.

“The overall goal of X-Road® would be to connect the different information systems, both in public and in the private sector, to allow for secure and standardized data exchange between the information systems,” reminisces Taavi Meinberg. “And if you’re asking whether we’re still fulfilling that goal today, then I think we are, and we’ve smashed it! The implementation of X-Road® is/has been a very long process, and it has required several other aspects of the e-nation to follow along with it. But it has also become the solid foundation that further e-nation can be developed on.”

Arne Ansper, from Cybernetica – the private company that has been hands-on with developing the development of the X-Road® analyses where that Estonian openness for the public-private partnership came from and how it is practiced still today.

“When we regained our independence, there were lots of talented people in different academic institutions working very closely together. And when the new opportunities opened, it was kind of like an explosion. Some went to the banking segment, some the government. Some stayed in academia, some established companies, etc. But all these relationships meant that people were trusting each other, and they knew what a partner is capable of doing,” Ansper says and adds: “But now, 30 years later, there are no such explosions. It’s much harder to get to a very good working relationship. It takes time, and you must prove it yourself over and over and over.”

 

If you want to hear in more detail how the X-Road® has evolved over the years, how does the X-Road® facilitate the current state and plans of data exchange, and what could the next 20 years of the X-Road® look like, tune in to listen to the latest episode of our podcast.

Written by
Dea Paraskevopoulos

communications manager for digital services at the e-estonia briefing centre

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