The state of digitalization in Italy 2022

The state of digitalization in Italy in 2022 according to the DESI Report. Progress in connectivity, but still weaknesses in the use of big data, artificial intelligence and e-commerce. Investments and long-term strategies needed for sustainable digital growth.

Introduction

Italy shows significant progress in digitization according to the European Commission's DESI 2022 Report, but still ranks 18th out of 27 EU member states.

Over the past five years, Italy's DESI score has increased from 28.2 to 49.3, representing the most consistent progress among all EU countries. However, Italy's score remains below the European average of 52.3 and countries such as Spain, France and Germany.

Economy and Society Digitization Index (Resi) - Ranking 2022

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taly shows good performance in connectivity, with major improvements in 5G coverage and fast broadband. However, it still has some weaknesses in the use of big data, artificial intelligence and e-commerce adoption. In addition, the country ranks below the European average in terms of human capital and digital public services.

DESI 2022 - Score relative to each dimension

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Approfondimento

What is going well

In terms of connectivity, Italy ranks 7th, with 5G coverage reaching 99.7 percent of inhabited areas in 2021, far exceeding the EU average of 66 percent. Fast broadband coverage is at 97%, while very high capacity fixed network coverage is still limited to 44% of households.

In digital technology integration, Italy scores above the EU average. Italian companies show good adoption of e-invoicing and cloud services, with 95 percent of Italian companies using e-invoicing and 52 percent using cloud services. However, Italy lags behind in the use of big data, artificial intelligence and e-commerce.

What needs to improve

In the dimension of human capital, Italy ranks 25th out of 27 member states. The country lags significantly behind in basic digital skills, with only 46 percent of the population possessing such skills, compared to the EU average of 54 percent. In addition, Italy has a low percentage of graduates in information and communication technologies (ICT), with only 1.4 percent of Italian graduates choosing ICT disciplines, the lowest figure in the EU. The number of ICT specialists in the Italian labor market is also below the EU average.

In terms of digital public services, Italy ranks 19th, scoring below the EU average. Only 40 percent of Italian Internet users use digital public services, a figure well below the EU average of 65 percent. Italy performs well in opening up public data, but still has some gaps in the availability of pre-filled forms.

Current actions

Despite progress, Italy still has room for improvement in the digitization of human capital and public services. The country urgently needs to close the gap in basic digital skills by increasing the percentage of ICT graduates and enhancing the supply of digital public services for citizens.

Despite the challenges, Italy has taken several initiatives to stimulate digitization.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan should provide a significant boost by directing investment toward the digitization of public administration and its services. This should help improve access and efficiency of digital public services for Italian citizens.

For businesses, Italy has made progress in adopting digital technologies, such as electronic invoicing and cloud services. However, there is still room for the wider use of big data, artificial intelligence and the expansion of e-commerce.
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Adopting long-term strategies, investing in digital skills, and expanding access to digital public services are key to ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth in the digital age.

Conclusions

In Italy, progress in digitization is evident, but challenges remain. Connectivity is improving and digital technology adoption is growing, but the country needs to address digital skills shortages and improve digital public services. Long-term investments and targeted strategies are key to ensuring sustainable and inclusive digital growth in the modern era.
Index
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