The State as a Platform: People and Technology (VIDEO)

16 January 2019
The State as a Platform: People and Technology (VIDEO)

At the 10th Gaidar Forum, a panel discussion was held under the same name. It is known that 2018 was the year that defined the digital development agenda: the "Digital Economy" national program consolidated the priorities of the transformation of public administration and the development of cross-cutting technologies. Business and state corporations adopt digital strategies, leaders of digital transformation become new players, artificial intelligence is no longer a novelty and is being implemented in all sectors. But questions remain for the management of data and the policy to regulate it, the regulatory conditions are unfriendly to experiments with digital technologies.
What are the plans of the business and the state?

The panel comprised: Maria Shklyaruk, scientific director of the Chief Digital Transformation Officer Program at the Higher School of Economics RANEPA, Maxim Akimov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Herman Gref, President, Chairman of the Management Board of Sberbank. Amr Salem, Vice President, Global Public Sector, Cisco. Alexey Malinovsky, Head of Mastercard in Russia, Maxim Parshin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development. The discussion was moderated by Aleksey Komissarov, Provost, Director of Graduate School of Public Administration, RANEPA; Director General of ANO Russia - The Country of Opportunities.

Opening the discussion, he noted that the idea of the state as a platform, originally formulated by the Center for Strategic Research in 2016, has been finding its place in the permanent program of the Gaidar Forum since 2018. Important components of this issue are data management, information policy management, data quality policy, and data standardization.

Maria Shklyaruk made a key report. The expert emphasized that in the course of the “Digital Economy” program development, we see a natural evolution of the concept of “digital solutions / digital transformation”: from simple IT implementation to digital solutions promotion as a factor of optimization and process reengineering. At the same time, the world already enters the third stage – the introduction of platform solutions as a fundamental factor in transaction costs reducing and a sharp increase in efficiency.

The task of 2019 is to develop an understanding and format of work, when a significant part of the state’s role as an intermediary in the movement of key information (tax, personnel, statistical) will be withdrawn from the government agencies and will be executed by algorithms without human participation, which will give rise to more efficient work formats. This issue, in turn, generates a related group of challenges in terms of the quality of the infrastructure and the quality of the data, as well as their mutual architectural complementarity. As a result, the question of changing the essence and process logic of state relevant services and processes is cascaded.

Maxim Akimov uncovered approaches to addressing the key process node – providing a technological and legal opportunity for the seamless integration of key (basic) public systems for high-quality departmental interaction and connecting private service operators.

In 2019, it is planned to complete work in terms of data turnover between the main digital federal systems, such as the SMEV (Interdepartmental Electronic Interaction System), EGRPR (Unified State Register of Title to Real Estate and Transactions Therewith), ESIA (Unified Identification and Authentication System), the Population Register, the Register of Legal Entities, and a number of others. This will allow launching additional services in the b2c segment in cooperation with private operators. Further, work will go on with b2b and b2g segments.

To institutionalize and coordinate these processes, a working group has been formed to deal with aspects of digital integration and data turnover.  The current block of tasks for the near future:

  • the system of departments' motivation for the development of digital processes and integration;
  • ensuring the integration of private operators when interacting with public platform services;
  • ensuring end-to-end digital identification.

Herman Gref in his speech emphasized the personnel component of this problem: many universities still stay in a confident comfort zone and do not participate actively in the processes of digital transformation in terms of the formation of future-oriented competence profiles. At the same time, even in the traditional segment – digital trade – in Russia in 2018 explosive growth was observed. Already more than half of the transactions are purchases from smartphones with a steady focus on working not through traditional call centers, but through various automated AI services. But the overwhelming majority of universities does not react to these systemic market changes.

H. Gref also noted the problem of state participation in the aspects of regulation of the digital integration market. It is important to correctly apply the factor of state participation in order not to repeat the mistakes of the same EU, when the centralized decisions that were taken posed the danger of growing lagging in the critical intellectual digital technologies. Gref sees one of the primary dangers in the emergence of so-called expert barriers, which are typical of high-tech market segments.

Maxim Parshin spoke about the development of a digital state. The basis of it has been actually created. For instance, the Russian public services portal is the most visited state site in the world: about one billion visits in 2018 and about 30 million downloads. Unified Identification and Authentication System (ESIA) – 80 million digital profiles, of which 52 million are confirmed. SMEV provides up to 100 million secure and legally significant transactions per day. About half of the traffic represents requests from banks for their operational, business objectives.

The important task of the next 2-3 years is the development of the State Web. Today, there are about 200 thousand state and departmental websites in the country. They need to be optimized and combined in a single ecosystem. This will create conditions for the emergence of end-to-end "super-services". The architectural council created under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov will contribute to the acceleration and coordination of these processes.

Amr Salem in his speech emphasized the aspect of infrastructure sustainability, which becomes critical with such a rapid growth of services amid ongoing urbanization.

Alexey Malinovsky focused on the aspects of Russia's global readiness for digital processes. The expert noted that last year Russia took the first place globally for tokenized transactions (using smartphones). It speaks of a “thirst” for modern technologies and innovations in life. Russia is also well represented in the global rankings on aspects of digital readiness in comparison with the traditionally leading US and new leader – China.

Participants in the plenary discussion agreed that the year 2019 could be decisive for entering the trajectory of fast digital development.

All records of live broadcasts from the Gaidar Forum 2019

10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.

The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru,, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.

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