The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to turn our everyday lives on its head. The restrictions in public life, concerns about family members, and the economic consequences of the crisis are pushing many of us to our limits. But at the same time, we are also all experiencing how the current situation triggered by the infectious disease COVID-19 is suddenly accelerating digitalization processes in many spheres. Digital working and learning stand out as the areas where digitalization was previously particularly sluggish, but these are certainly not the only fields in which Germany was previously lagging behind. Now, digital technologies are helping to ensure that essential processes and structures can be maintained even in times of social restraints and curfews.
In a recent netTALK hosted by eco*, Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner for the Digital Economy & Start-ups with the German Federal Ministry of Economics, spoke of a “fresh start for digitalization” and explained why it is particularly important to achieve digital self-determination in times of crisis.
Efficient and sovereign digital infrastructures as well as innovative digital services and technologies are more in demand in times of crisis than ever before: They are the engine that keeps the economy and society running in the face of state-imposed lock-downs, contact bans, home office regulations, and school closures. They are not only helping us to cope with the current situation, but are also contributing to the direct fight against the coronavirus pandemic – for example in the form of an anti-corona app.
According to Jarzombek, we must now quickly act to exploit this digital push effect: Even if Germany is not yet at the top of the league in terms of digitalization, it has the capacity to emerge as a digital winner in international terms once the crisis has been overcome, and to thereby make the economy more stable and competitive for the future.
The eco Association is convinced that this crisis represents a major opportunity for the Internet industry. Digital and Internet companies and their products and solutions are in particularly high demand. Even the most digital-skeptical of all citizens will now concede that digital infrastructures, and the applications based on them, are making a decisive contribution to overcoming the current challenges.
* The eco netTalks are online video interviews conducted in the German language.