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Public Sector & Politics

Digital public services for citizens and companies 
Involving all stakeholders from the realms of the economy, politics and the population is vital in order to enable society to unfold and harness the potential of digitalization. In this chapter, we will focus on the public sector and politics, asking the question: are they “drivers” or “inhibitors” of ICT innovation? The following measurement parameters provide information about general legal and regulatory conditions as well as the initiatives of government and legislature (Parliament). Additionally, Switzerland’s e-government performance will be described. High administrative hurdles for the economy and society are important factors in the attractiveness of Switzerland as a location.

Concerning the current status 
Switzerland’s political-regulatory environment is reasonably digitalization-friendly. As shown by the “Global Information Technology Report” issued by the WEF, Switzerland ranks among the top ten in an international comparison. However, the report also shows that the Swiss government does not sufficiently embrace its role as a driver of ICT. When it comes to measuring the usage/application of ICT solutions as well as the success of developing and implementing digitalization strategies, the Swiss government only came in at 43rd place. Here, we see much room for improvement – especially considering the fact that Swiss companies are leading the global ranking in terms of their use/application and implementation of digital solutions. Studies on e-government development in Switzerland show a mostly positive picture. The offering, usage and level of user satisfaction with e-government solutions are relatively high and trending upwards. The offering is being expanded continually.

"The interest of Swiss parliamentarians in ICT topics has increased continuously over the past ten years. Nevertheless, in light of the complex challenges that digitalization brings, we urgently need even more ICT know-how in parliament."

State of digitization in topic Public Sector & PoliticsFortschritt der Digitalisierung im Themenfeld Public Sector & Politics

15.03.201621.11.2017
digital.swiss, Andreas  Hugi

Topic Owner

Andreas Hugi

Managing Director
ePower 

Measurement parameters


Political and regulatory environment in Switzerland

The government as ICT-user and driver

eGovernment services

eGovernment usage

eGovernment satisfaction

Swiss politics & new technologies

ICT commitment of Swiss politicians

Political and regulatory environment in Switzerland

Economy, the population, and politics need to cooperate in order to make the most of the chances and opportunities opened up by digitalization. The general political and regulatory conditions are a decisive factor which is reflected in this measurement parameter.

Calculation: The “Global Information Technology Report“ measures the general conditions for successful digitalization / ICT evolution in a country by the means of the ”Network Readiness Index”. The general political and regulatory environment is pivotal: is it digitalization-friendly or does it inhibit digital development? 7 is the highest-possible score in the ranking (target). In 2016, Switzerland reached a score of 5.6, thus putting Switzerland in 7th place in an international comparison of countries. Switzerland improved by 0.1 point and moved up two places in the ranking compared to the previous year.

The aim is for Switzerland to score the maximum value of 7. There is an acute need for action if Switzerland does not place in the top twenty countries (value of 5.2). There is a need for optimization if Switzerland is in the top ten (value of 5.5). This measurement parameter is weighted 25% in the topic area “Public sector & politics”.

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01.01.201621.11.2017
The government as ICT-user and driver

Economy, the population, and politics have to cooperate in order to make the most of the chances and opportunities opened up by digitalization.  Decisive factors are here the use, offerings, as well as the promotion and implementation of ICT solutions by the stakeholders specified.

Calculation: The “Global Information Technology Report” measures and indicates the general conditions for a successful digitalization / ICT evolution in different countries by the means of the “Network Readiness Index”. One key factor is the readiness and willingness of government / politics to act as a driver with respect to ICT. This study measures the government’s success in developing and implementing strategies for digitalization, as well as the use of ICT solutions in terms of the availability and quality of online services.  7 is the highest-possible score in the ranking (target). In 2016, Switzerland reached a score of 4.5, thus putting Switzerland in 43rd place in an international comparison of countries. Switzerland moved up 5 places (+ 0.1 point) in the ranking compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, politics is lagging significantly behind the economy and society. In respect of ICT usage and implementation, Swiss companies (economy) are again in first place with 6.1 points while the Swiss population came in at the ninth place with 6.6 points and thus also among the top ten.

The aim is for Switzerland to score the maximum value of 7. There is an acute need for action if Switzerland does not place in the top twenty countries (value of 5.0). There is a need for optimization if Switzerland is in the top ten (value of 5.4). This measurement parameter is weighted 25% in the topic area “Public sector & politics”.

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01.01.201521.11.2017
eGovernment services

Low administrative hurdles for the economy and society are important factors in the attractiveness of Switzerland as a location. eGovernment solutions contribute significantly to making the dialog and exchange between government agencies and their stakeholders as economically efficient, needs-oriented, uncomplicated, and time-flexible as possible.

A key factor is the range of eGovernment solutions available. This is shown in the measurement parameter with two factors:

  1. Switzerland’s eGovernment services by international comparisons
  2. eGovernment services offered by the cantons and municipalities

Calculation: The two aspects are weighted equally.

  1. The European Union (EU) has studied the development of Europe’s eGovernment services since 2001. The current 2016 eGovernment Benchmark Report covers the 28 EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. The survey investigates the four main indicators of user orientation, transparency, cross-border mobility, and basic modules (key enablers). In the report, Switzerland is below average in three of these four areas (user orientation, transparency, and basic modules). Viewed across all four areas, Switzerland scores 48%, which is below the average of 60.25%. Switzerland performs particularly poorly in the areas of basic modules (33%) and transparency (32%). Nevertheless, things have been continually improving in recent years.
    There is an acute need for action if Switzerland performs worse than average (60%). There is a need for optimization if Switzerland is in the top 20%.
  2. The eGovernment map shows at various levels how many of the overall 78 official services in the cantons and municipalities are carried out online. The aim is to make all 78 electronic administrative services available.
    There is an acute need for action if on average, less than half of the eGovernment services are implemented in the Swiss cantons and municipalities. There is assumed to be a need for optimization if at least three quarters of the online services are available.

The three eGovernment measurement parameters (services, usage and satisfaction) are together weighted 25% overall in the topic area “Public sector & politics”.

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01.01.201621.11.2017
eGovernment usage

Low administrative hurdles for the economy and society are important factors in the attractiveness of Switzerland as a location. eGovernment solutions contribute significantly to making the dialog and exchange between government agencies and their stakeholders as economically efficient, needs-oriented, uncomplicated, and time-flexible as possible.

Usage of the online services by the Swiss population is a decisive factor.

Calculation: The "eGovernment-Monitor" of the EU analyzes the utilization rate of e-government service solutions in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. The results are based on surveys of the general public. Asked if they have used eGovernment service solutions in the last twelve months, 65% of respondents in Switzerland answered “yes” in 2016. This represents a small decrease of 4% in comparison with the previous year.

The aim is to achieve a better usage of eGovernment services compared to benchmark countries. There is an acute need for action if fewer services are used online in Switzerland than in Germany (45%). There is assumed to be a need for optimization if Switzerland is a leader in terms of eGovernment service usage.

The three eGovernment measurement parameters (services, usage and satisfaction) are together weighted 25% overall in the topic area “Public sector & politics”.

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01.01.201221.11.2017
eGovernment satisfaction

Low administrative hurdles for the economy and society are important factors in the attractiveness of Switzerland as a location. eGovernment solutions contribute significantly to making the dialog and exchange between government agencies and their stakeholders as economically efficient, needs-oriented, uncomplicated, and time-flexible as possible.

Satisfaction with the Swiss eGovernment services is a decisive factor. The general public will only use the government services more if they appreciate them and recognize their added value.

Calculation: The general public’s satisfaction was measured in a survey as part of the “eGovernment Monitor”. 74% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the eGovernment services.


The aim is for all Swiss people to be satisfied with the online services currently available. The situation is critical (acute need for action) if on average, they have an indifferent attitude towards the eGovernment services, while there is assumed to be a need for optimization if on average, they are somewhat satisfied. The three eGovernment measurement parameters (services, usage and satisfaction) are together weighted 25% overall in the topic area “Public sector & politics”.

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01.01.201521.11.2017
Swiss politics & new technologies

To ensure digital development, creating and strengthening awareness of the significance of ICT among politicians is vital. For this reason, it is crucial that they are promoted by ICT-minded parliamentarians who have the necessary know-how.

A survey among the Swiss population asked if they think that politicians are able to cope with the quickly growing challenges of digitalization.

Calculation: Answers were scored from 1 to 5 (I fully agree; I tend to agree; Undecided; I tend to not agree; I don’t agree at all). The average of all responses is calculated for the measurement parameter.

Target score is a 100% approval. A neutral attitude on average or lower is understood to represent an acute need for action. There is a need for optimization if the general public tend to agree that politicians understand the importance and impact of new technologies for Switzerland.

The two political measurement parameters «Swiss politics & new technology» and «ICT commitment of Swiss politicians» are together weighted 25% overall in the topic area «Public sector & politics».

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15.03.201621.11.2017
ICT commitment of Swiss politicians

To ensure digital development, creating and strengthening awareness of the significance of ICT among politicians is vital. Although virtually no one challenges the central role of ICT solutions for the economy, the energy and healthcare sectors, mobility, infrastructure or administration, we can nevertheless see that ICT topics tend to be unpopular in the political arena. For this reason, it is crucial that they are promoted by ICT-minded parliamentarians who have the necessary know-how.

Calculation: This measurement parameter shows the level of ICT interest among national parliamentarians: How many dedicated ICT-minded parliamentarians are sitting in parliament? The level of interest is measured based on membership of one of the two digital parliamentary groups ePower or Parldigi. In the current legislature, there are 65 parliamentarians who are members of these groups, which corresponds to 26%.

The two political measurement parameters “Swiss politics & new technology” and “ICT commitment of Swiss politicians” are together weighted 25% overall in the topic area “Public sector & politics”

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01.01.201621.11.2017

Team of experts

digital.swiss, Alessandra  Koechli

Alessandra Koechli

ePower Initative

digital.swiss, Cedric  Royjpg

Cédric Roy

Head of Programme Office
E-Government Switzerland

Opinions and Dialog


#DSpolitics

Current Projects

Parlamentarisch-wirtschaftliche Initiative «ePower – ICT für die Schweiz»

Die parlamentarisch-wirtschaftliche Initiative ePower wurde im Herbst 2005 von Spitzenvertretern aus Politik und Industrie gegründet. Die ePower Initiative will erreichen, dass das Potenzial der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (ICT) besser genutzt wird – für eine erfolgreiche Digitalisierung der Schweiz!

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Current Publications

Zukunft digitale Schweiz: Den Wandel gemeinsam gestalten

Eine neue Studie von economiesuisse, unterstützt durch den Think Tank W.I.R.E., präsentiert eine Auslegeordnung zur Digitalisierung und zeigt auf, welche drängenden Fragen und Themen die Schweiz prioritär diskutieren muss, um als Siegerin aus dem digitalen Wandel hervorzugehen. Die breit angelegte Studie ordnet die aktuellen Entwicklungen ein, analysiert Stärken und Schwächen der Schweiz, entwirft Szenarien für künftige Wachstumsfelder und bildet damit den Startschuss zu einer Reihe vertiefender Publikationen von economiesuisse zur digitalen Wirtschaft und den damit verbundenen politischen Rahmenbedingungen.

LinkMedienmitteilung von economiesuisse vom 22.08.2017
Link zur StudieZukunft digitale Schweiz: Den Wandel gemeinsam gestalten
PDF DownloadZukunft digitale Schweiz: Den Wandel gemeinsam gestalten

economiesuisse - Dossierpolitik - Schweizer Erfolgsfaktoren gelten auch in der digitalen Zukunft

Mit dem technologischen Fortschritt geht ein als tief greifend empfundener Wandel in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft einher. Dieser Wandel ist für die Schweiz mit grossen Chancen verbunden, welche sie nutzen kann, wenn sie nicht von bewährten Erfolgsfaktoren abweicht. Wie bei allen Veränderungen sucht nun auch die Politik ihre Rolle. Zahlreiche aktuelle Vorstösse zielen darauf ab, den digitalen Wandel zu steuern. Dieser Aktivismus muss kritisch hinterfragt werden. Eine überhastete Regulierung des technologischen Fortschritts oder gar industriepolitische Massnahmen gefährden das Erfolgsmodell Schweiz. Denn viele politische Forderungen widersprechen den Interessen von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Entweder, weil sie alleine auf den Erhalt des Bestehenden ausgerichtet sind und dadurch protektionistisch, wettbewerbsfeindlich und innovationshemmend sind, oder weil sie auf eine noch unklare, mögliche Entwicklung hinzielen und damit den Raum für andere Szenarien verschliessen.

Eine Schweizer Stärke ist es, dass sich unser Land erfolgreich an Veränderungen anpassen kann. Damit die Schweiz auch in Zukunft wettbewerbsfähig bleibt, müssen wir unsere Erfolgsfaktoren auch für die digitale Zukunft bewahren. Dazu müssen wir ohne Hektik und Aktivismus bestehende Regulierungsansätze hinterfragen. Flexibilität und Anpassungsfähigkeit sind einmal mehr Dreh- und Angelpunkt für den Erfolg. Hierzu muss sich insbesondere auch das Schweizer Bildungssystem entlang der sich wandelnden Anforderungen an die Arbeitskräfte ausrichten und die Anpassungsfähigkeit der Menschen fördern.

Position economiesuisse

  • Die digitale Entwicklung ist eine Chance für die Schweiz. Als eine der wettbewerbsfähigsten Volkswirtschaften der Welt verfügt unser global stark vernetztes Land über eine sehr gute Ausgangslage, auch in Zukunft zu den innovativsten und erfolgreichsten Ländern zu gehören.
  • In einer datengetriebenen Welt sind leistungsfähige, sichere und flächendeckend verfügbare Informations- und Kommunikationsinfrastrukturen Basis für Entwicklungen und damit ein wichtiger Standortfaktor für die digitale Transformation von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.
  • Die bewährten Erfolgsfaktoren von gestern sind auch die Erfolgsfaktoren von morgen. Eine langfristig orientierte Wirtschaftspolitik orientiert sich am bisherigen Erfolgsmodell Schweiz. Offenheit, freies Unternehmertum, politische und rechtliche Stabilität, ein flexibler Arbeitsmarkt und ein starkes Bildungssystem bleiben die entscheidenden Erfolgsgaranten, gerade auch im digitalen Zeitalter.
  • Bei Regulierungen in einem hoch dynamischen Umfeld ist besondere Vorsicht geboten. Das Risiko schädlicher Regulierungseingriffe durch die Politik ist gross. Hektik und Aktivismus sind vor diesem Hintergrund das falsche Rezept.
  • Der technologische Fortschritt bedarf einer gesamtheitlichen, branchenübergreifenden Betrachtung. Partikularinteressen und Strukturerhalt dürfen nicht Anlass für Regulierung sein oder der Anpassung von Regulierung im Weg stehen.
LinkDossier lesen
LinkZusammenfassung lesen
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Basic Infrastructure Digital Identity Energy Skilled workers & Education Research & Innovation Society & Behavior Health ICT industry Industry 4.0 International Competitiveness Mobility Public Sector & Politics Legal Norms & Legislation Security Economic Sectors

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