Let’s say it straight away – according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) recently published by the European Commission – Poland is in the penultimate place in the EU in terms of “digitalization ” of the economy and the digital skills of society. This means that the technological debt is increasing in our country. What is that?
– When you drop an element of technological progress, while this progress is galloping, a gap is created – ING Bank Śląski President Brunon Bartkiewicz recently said during a debate at the European Economic Congress.
And he added that Polish banks do not have “tech debt”, because they have invested for years in solutions and features that the most successful startups in the field of finance, i.e. say the fintechs, couldn’t even dream. But this does not mean, of course, that the entire Polish economy does not fall into “technological debt”. The DESI index simply shows that it is one of them.
The financial sector is one of the few enclaves where tech debt is invisible. Another example is the Żabka chain of stores, which tries to manage inventory, to carry out the ordering process by franchisees, and above all to predict what assortment should be in stores at a specific location and to manage prices on the based on the analysis of large data collections on customer purchases.
– The ability to derive essence from the data of 3 million buying customers allows for product and price segmentation – he said Adam Manikowski, general manager of Żabka Polska.
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However, as the economy becomes increasingly digital, the issue of security in the digital world is crucial. The financial industry is safe in the sense that “digital” breaking into a bank is difficult and unprofitable for criminals, but they take advantage of the naivety of digital banking users and steal their money. Brunon Bartkiewicz says it has already become a scourge and that this crime is more profitable than drug trafficking.
In addition, the financial sector is faced with new obligations, such as the fight against money laundering, and after Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the introduction of sanctions against the aggressor, also ensuring compliance of these penalties.
However, we are only at the beginning of the digital transformation of the economy, because no one has really seen a digital factory. And theoretically, building it is already possible. Tomasz Wolanowski, president of ABB in Poland, presents such a vision. The factory of the future has a zero-emission infrastructure, the Internet of Things appears in all its modules, i.e. the work is carried out by communicating robots, and their work and its final effects are monitored and optimized in real time by artificial intelligence.
Such a factory of the future can of course be bombed and destroyed like any other. But it can also be destroyed by a cyberattack. This is why digital security is so important.
– Security is not fully integrated into the overall functioning of the company – said Agnieszka Kubera, managing director of the consulting firm Accenture in Poland.
Maciej Zieliński, president of Siemens Polska, believes that cyberpolice defending themselves against cybercriminals is most important for digital security. The most important is digital culture, that is, understanding the importance of behaving at work (and also, for example, in personal finances) in compliance with basic security rules.
– It’s about the simplest things, so that people don’t stick cards with passwords on screens (…) create a digital culture, take care of infrastructure, raise awareness. It is a continuous and uninterrupted process – he said.
Paweł Borys, chairman of the Polish Development Fund, encourages Polish companies to use cloud computing. Thanks to the use of the cloud, the company gains in competitiveness because it has access to technological resources at a lower cost. Cloud operators also ensure the highest security standards. After all, the risk of destroying a company’s server room is greater than destroying a data center. The use of cloud computing – as DESI data shows – is also one of the lowest in the European Union among Polish companies.
Following the acceleration of the digital transformation of Polish companies, if necessary, an increase in digital security standards must follow. Agnieszka Kubera says the right way to achieve both of these goals is to invest in education and to keep a large number of experts in Poland so that they want to work for Polish companies.