Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how a company, an organization, the public sector and the society uses technology, people and processes to radically change performance. It is, essentially, not just moving all processes into a digital format, but fundamentally shifting thinking to accommodate the digital environment into all products and processes (online and offline). In this way, digital transformation is a fundamental enabler, facilitator and in some cases prerequisite for innovation (particularly in technology-enabled innovations), whereas in some cases can even coincide with innovation. The role of digital transformation is, moreover, instrumental in enhancing communication and knowledge sharing among stakeholders within ecosystems of research and innovation.
It is therefore necessary to have in place strategies, technologies, infrastructures, skills and competencies for digital transformation of the economy are interlocked with R&I ecosystem, as facilitating and enabling factors for knowledge sharing and innovation. Current initiatives undertaken under separate frameworks, associated and interlocked with the national R&I strategy and ecosystem include the following:
- Adoption of national strategies such as the National Digital Strategy and E-Government Strategy
- Focus on leading technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT)
- Support of infrastructures related to Electronic Communications and Information Technology
- Development of skills and competencies required to support the fast pace in which technology is adopted in everyday life and the widespread disruption expected to occur in business models and the labour market within the next decade.