Microsoft created the Digital Futures Index and measured the digitalisation level of 16 European countries, including Estonia. Estonia is leading in e-governance with an above CEE average digitalisation level. Estonia outperforms all countries in the Index regarding digital public services. It scores very highly on cloud usage, remote working, employment of ICT specialists, and more – demonstrating key strengths across all categories of digital development in the Index.
The index provides data on the current level of digitalisation of the country. It detects the most successful areas and areas that need to be focused on to accelerate the process of digital transformation.
Digitilisation is observed through five categories of digital development:
- digital business
- digital government and public sector
- digital infrastructure
- digital sector,
- human capital.
The overall level of digital development in Estonia is 139, which is 39 percent above the average of Central and Eastern European countries (100 is the number of points defined as the average for CEE).
Estonia outperforms all countries in digital public services
Estonia outperforms all countries in the Index regarding digital public services. It scores very highly on cloud usage, remote working, employment of ICT specialists, and more – demonstrating key strengths across all categories of digital development in the Index. Estonia has the highest number of start-ups per capita compared to other countries in scope. Estonia is recognized as a leader in eGovernment and outperforms CEE countries in digital development overall.
Results of the Digital Futures Index for Estonia by category, related to the average of CEE countries (100 marks the average)
- In the digital business category, Estonia scored 128 points, 28 percent above the CEE average. Estonian business scores highly on digital competitiveness. However, for the percentage of companies that employ ICT specialists, Estonia scored only 75, and total computer software spending is 20% below the CEE average.
- In the digital government and public sector category, Estonia achieved 134 points, 34 percent above the average. Estonia has the highest public interaction with the government via digital technology. The one area where Estonia is slightly behind is education – it is 13% below the percentage of teachers with the skills needed to integrate e-learning into the curriculum.
- In the category of human capital – 125 points. Estonia scores highly on nurturing future tech talent and the digital skills of its population. frontrunners. The country is 6% below the average for private investment in research and development, and it also scores 88 of the % of graduates who study STEM, so there is still space for progress.
- The best results are 144 points, 44% above the CEE average in the digital sector category. The start-up sector does well to attract venture capital, scoring 137. Estonia scores similarly to digital frontrunner countries on the percentage of ICT specialists in total employment. However, it underperforms in the percentage of companies that employ ICT specialists. This suggests a divide between companies that have heavily invested in tech talent and those that have not.
Digitisation helps businesses become more innovative and productive. But investing in technology isn’t enough to be successful if companies don’t also prioritize digital skills, digital-first leadership, and hybrid working culture. Estonia had above-average levels of remote working even before the pandemic – suggesting the country is well-positioned to embrace hybrid working moving forward.
About the Digital Futures Index
Digital Futures Index is using highly credible public data sources to map digital development along with a wide range of parameters. It was designed to model digital development and explore its relationship with societal and economic advancement. The Index includes data for the following CEE countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Slovenia. To obtain additional data for comparison, it also includes a select group of advanced ‘benchmark’ Western Europe countries, which are digital frontrunner nations: Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden; and Portugal, which are on the digital rise.