Digital Switzerland Strategy
The Digital Switzerland Strategy sets the guidelines for Switzerland’s digital transformation (see Ordinance on the Coordination of the Digital Transformation and ICT Steering in the Federal Administration). It is binding for the Federal Administration and serves as an orientation for all other stakeholders involved in digitalisation.
Table of content
Switzerland consistently prioritises digital offerings for the benefit of all people, regardless of gender, age or origin (digital first). It makes targeted use of the opportunities offered by sustainable digital transformation so that everyone benefits in the long run. Switzerland is one of the most digitally competitive and innovative countries in Europe.
Definition «Digital First»
Under ‘digital first’, digital solutions are prioritised whenever possible and wherever practical. If necessary, non-digital solutions are also offered. A distinction is therefore made between ‘digital first’ and the ‘digital only’ principle, which relies exclusively on digital solutions.
The aim is for the population as a whole to benefit from a digital transformation that is responsible and sustainable (ecologically, economically and socially). This is being driven forward jointly by the authorities at all federal levels, as well as by stakeholders from civil society, business, academia and politics.
Under focus themes, the Federal Council identifies two to three priorities each year as a way of launching digital transformation themes. This focus is complemented by the action plan, which provides an overview of activities in the area of digital transformation for the general public. In contrast to the annually changing focus themes, the vision and domains remain stable over several years.
The Digital Switzerland Strategy provides a framework in the sense of an umbrella strategy for the Digital Federal Administration Strategy, the Swiss eGovernment Strategy and various other sectoral strategies. It also helps Switzerland to achieve its climate and environmental goals and the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Digitalisation remains the responsibility of all relevant specialist organisations, which have the lead in implementing the measures.
The focus themes form the starting point for new measures and Federal Council mandates, insofar as they fall under federal remit. They are the subject of the meetings of the Digital Switzerland Advisory Committee, in which experts chaired by a member of the Federal Council discuss the topic in depth. The Federal Council determines the focus themes annually. The lead departments are responsible for their implementation.
The national cyberstrategy will be implemented in cooperation with the cantons, higher education institutions and business, in order that all actors can address digital challenges securely.
Lead: Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, National Cyber Security Centre.
Swiss approach to regulating AI systems
By the end of 2024, the Confederation will draw up a proposal for a Swiss approach to the regulation of AI, taking into account developments in the sectors and at international level, particularly in the EU and the Council of Europe. The aim is to develop an approach in dialogue with all stakeholders that upholds human rights, democracy and the rule of law while promoting Switzerland’s capacity for innovation and growth.
Lead: Federal Office of Communications in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Office of Justice and other federal agencies and bodies.
Application programming interfaces (APIs)
The provision of standardised interfaces enables seamless integration and interoperability of digital systems and data exchange. The number of APIs is to be increased in order to enable companies to build innovative and data-based business models and allow Switzerland to make data-based decisions more quickly in all situations, including crises.
Lead: Digital Transformation and ICT Steering Sector in cooperation with the departments.
Domains with indicators
The Digital Switzerland Strategy is structured around five long-term domains. These domains are based on the EU’s Digital Compass. Focus themes and measures are each assigned to a domain. This structure is intended to create a clear overview of activities that are important for a digital Switzerland. The Federal Council measures progress in each domain according to two indicators. The ten indicators were initially defined. They are reviewed on an ongoing basis and adjusted if necessary. As far as possible, the values are compared against international benchmarks.
Education and skills
People, businesses and public authorities have sufficient skills to make the most of new technologies and are able to evaluate them critically.
Security and trust
People in Switzerland can move around safely in the digital environment; privacy is protected.
Businesses and society can rely on a reliable and advantageous framework for the digital environment.
Public authorities promote and operate reliable and resilient physical as well as digital infrastructures.
*OGD: Updated in May of the reporting year, adjusted for double counts.
Digital public services
Public authorities offer their services digitally as standard (digital first).
The action plan forms part of the Digital Switzerland Strategy. It defines the relevant measures and provides an overview of the status of their implementation. Measures are specific, time-limited programmes, projects or initiatives taken by internal or external stakeholders. They make a significant contribution to Switzerland’s digital transformation. The progress of individual measures is continuously updated by the lead stakeholders and published as an overview on www.digital.swiss.
Responsibilities and implementation
The Federal Chancellery’s Digital Transformation and ICT Steering Sector (DTI) is responsible for the ongoing development, coordination, communication and monitoring of the Digital Switzerland strategy. It reports annually to the Federal Council on the progress of the strategy and draws up proposals for new focus themes in close cooperation with the departments. The respective lead stakeholders are responsible for implementing the individual measures and provide the DTI Sector with regular progress reports.