Czech Republic Lags in Digitalization Despite Above-Average Digital Skills, European Commission Report Reveals

Prague, Czech Republic – A recent report published by the European Commission has shed light on the digital landscape in the Czech Republic, revealing that despite 60 percent of Czechs possessing at least basic digital skills, the country still lags behind in overall digitalization. This finding, which surpasses the European Union’s average of 54 percent, highlights the need for further efforts to harness the untapped potential of digital technologies in the country.

The report underscores the Czech Republic’s ambitions to become a significant player in the digital technology sector but also notes recent shortcomings in digitizing businesses. While 6 out of 10 Czechs possess basic digital skills, slightly above the EU average, the report points out that IT professionals constitute only 4.5 percent of the workforce.

Furthermore, the proportion of women in the Czech Republic’s digital sector remains notably low at 10.9 percent, compared to the EU average of 18.9 percent. This shortage of specialists underscores the necessity for educational reforms within the country to bridge the gender gap and address the skills deficit.

Basic digital skills, as outlined by the EU, encompass various aspects, including information processing, communication, digital content creation, security, and problem-solving. The IT sector is expected to have 20 million specialists by now, with a balanced gender representation.

One of the primary impediments to the development of digitalization in the Czech Republic is the inadequate coverage of high-speed internet through optical connections. However, the country fares better when it comes to 5G network coverage, which is above the EU average.

The report highlights the Czech Republic’s lag in digitizing businesses, particularly in areas such as data storage in cloud repositories and the utilization of artificial intelligence.

The European Union has set ambitious digital goals for 2030, aiming for at least 80 percent of the population to possess basic digital skills. Additionally, online public services, including electronic access to health records and digital identification, are expected to be readily available.

Significant disparities in digital literacy were noted among EU member states. While countries like the Netherlands and Finland have approached the 79 percent mark of digitally literate populations, others such as Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and Italy have less than half of their adult population equipped with digital skills.

In the Czech Republic, discussions about digitalization have often centered on the inefficiency of public administration and bureaucratic processes, which remain in contrast to the Baltic states where communication with authorities is primarily conducted online, serving as a source of inspiration for further advancements in digitalization efforts.

Article by Prague Forum

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