miércoles, 30 de marzo de 2016

Governance Structures for Digital Policies (II)

(This post contains draft material of the article published in Business Value Exchange)



Some days ago, we reviewed in the blog some governance structures where governments and society collaborate in the design of digital policies. According with the complexity of the challenges posed by digital transformation, governments has established different models of councils and boards for cross-sectoral cooperation with industry, society and academia. Besides this external governance structure, within the governments are also flourished new structures for whole-of-government cooperation for the support of the digital transformation of economy and society.

The best known and more ambitious example of interdepartmental structure for cooperation in the design of digital political is the European Commission. The EU executive designed by President Juncker is structured around seven vice presidents, which are responsible for the transversal policy coherence in the actions proposed by other commissioners. The EU digital policy, the development of the Digital Single Market, is coordinated by a Vice President, who oversees the complementarity of sectoral digital transformation actions proposed by the other commissioners.

In Germany, the Federal Government has taken advantage of the approval of the Digital Agenda for Germany 2014-2017 for the creation of a cross-sectoral committee. Under the name of the Digital Agenda Steering Committee, it has created a body of collaboration that aims at the early detection and analysis of the new challenges posed by the digital transformation. The committee is led by the Ministry of Economy and Energy (responsible for the Digital Agenda), with the special support of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, both co-authors of  the Digital Agenda. They also take part in the Committee other relevant federal departments in the development of the Agenda. One visible outcome of the interdepartmental collaboration in the German Government's position paper on the Digital Single Market.

After the last election victory of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, the Government established a series of Committees and Taskforces for the implementation of cross-cutting nature policy priorities. The purpose of the Working Groups is to detect the bottlenecks for each policy implementation and the development of joint plans for overcoming this obstacles. The structure of the working groups also ensures accountability on these priorities and the assessment of their development through regular meetings with the Prime Minister. In the field of digital economy, it has been established a Digital infrastructure and inclusion Taskforce . The main mission of this group is "Driving the roll out of universal broadband and better mobile phone connections, to ensure everyone is part of the digital economy". The group is chaired by the Minister of Digital Economy and the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, Communities and Local Government department and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. The government has not released more information about its activities, even after a Parliament's request.

The above structures are setting the model for other countries. There is no alternative to cross-sectoral collaboration for a complete digital transformation of economy and society. Otherwise, new pockets of exclusion and inequality will appear. The multistakeholder collaboration in digital policies is the only guarantee for not leaving anyone behind.


lunes, 21 de marzo de 2016

#telecom #industry #SDG Somewhere in #digital Europe ... (21/3/2016)

Reforming EU Telecoms Rules to create a Digital Union

The reform of the EU telecom market is one of the key elements of the Digital Single Market Strategy. The ITRE Committee of the European Parliament has published an study assessing the obstacles for the development of the telco sector in Europe and how to overcome them.


Industry 4.0

This study, prepared at the request of the ITRE committee of the European parliament analyses the Industry 4.0 Initiatives which encompass the digitalisation of production processes based on devices autonomously communicating with each other along the value chain. The study assesses the rationale for public intervention and outlines measures that could be adopted to increase the gains and limit the threats from Industry 4.0.


ICT and SDGs

ICTs are at the base of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This report published by Ericsson hinted policy measures to unleash de ICT power in the developing world and show cases of the usage of ICT for development.

miércoles, 16 de marzo de 2016

#SharedEconomy #Audiovisual Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (16/3/2016)

TRAVAILLER SUR UNE PLATEFORME INTERNET: UNE ANALYSE DES CHAUFFEURS UTILISANT UBER EN FRANCE

An interesting and pioneering analysis on the sector of the digital platforms' workers. The authors explore the profile of the Uber's workers in France. Far from being a complement to a traditional job, being an Uber driver emerges as a new worker profile.




On-demand Audiovisual Markets in the European Union (2014 and 2015 developments)

A study published by the European Commission result of its efforts to review the Audiovisual Directive. It provides a well-defined set of information concerning viewing patterns online, online advertising, the EU Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVoD) market and the origin and visibility of EU films on VoD services.




Study on data and information on the costs and benefits of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD)

Another work published by the European Commission related with the review of the Audiovisual Directive. The study provides a set of information concerning audiovisual services, data on market revenues and investments as well as legal information concerning the protection of minors.

jueves, 10 de marzo de 2016

Governance Structures for Digital Policies (I)

(This post contains draft material of the article published in Business Value Exchange


The digital technology is not anymore an isolated sector in the economy. Its general purpose nature has boosted the extension of its usage in very sector and the need for a coherent approach from the policy-making side. The vertical model of governance based in a vertical approach, with a unique ministry responsible for the digital policy that collaborates with the ICT industry associations, does not serve anymore. New models are emerging across the world based in the open government principles: Collaboration, transparency and participation.

Open government arises as a reaction to the complexity of the challenges that governments face. The more polyhedral the challenge, the more a government need an open governance structure to deal with it. Without any doubt, this is the case of the digital transformation of the society and the economy. Our whole environment is changing, from leisure to the work, from manufacturing to white-collar work, from human communication to travelling. As a consequence, for both the internal as the external faces of the digital policy governance, collaboration, participation and transparency are the axis of the new structures.

Starting with the external face of governance, different models of cross-sector councils are being promoted in some countries. One of the more consolidated experience is the French Digital Council (Conseil National du Numerique, CNN). The Council was set up in April 2011 by the French Government and has undergone some evolutions to develop in a better manner its advisory function. The CNN members are selected by the government and appointed by government decree. The Council’s thirty members come from across the digital spectrum, and include private sector professionals and entrepreneurs, researchers and activists.

In the USA, the government is experimenting with a different kind of animal. In november 2015 the US Commerce Department established the Digital Economy Board of Advisors (DEBA), which it will be composed of 15-20 members from the industry, academia and civil society. Instead of following the CNN model of membership based on the direct appointment by the government, the selection of the DEBA members is based in an open call where individuals and associations can nominate individuals based on its educational and professional merits. It is expected that DEBA will start in Q1 2016 its advisory function to promote an open internet that continues as an engine of growth, innovation, and free expression. 

Less information is available on other cases, as the Digital Economy Council (DEC) sponsored by the UK Government. This case looks as less ambitious model for collaboration established with the direct implication of TechUK, the UK ICT industry association. Apparently, the selection of the members is done by techUK only among ICT companies. Its only purpose is having regular meeting with the State Secretariat responsible for Digital Policies.

CNN, DEBA and DEC are examples of the external governance structure that supports the main government department in the design of digital policies. But as needed as this cross-sector collaboration with the outside is the whole-of-government collaboration. In the next days we will review this side of digital governance in the blog.



miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2016

The case for the regulation of the economic value of personal data

Every public policy has its common places. Regarding the data economy,  there is few sentences more repeated than "data is the new oil". Far from being the exaggeration of the consultants dedicated to the data economy field in order to create momentum for their business, the facts are proving the truth of the statement. However, the sentence was used at the beginning within the context of the open data projects and now it is clear that the real source of revenues is not the open data but the personal data

The time has also prove the truth of another common place, "if you're not paying you are the product". In spite of the rejection that being a product awaken in ourselves, the reality is that the profits of the providers of freemium services increase day by day. And we are not totally feeling awkward with the situation, as a recent Pew research shows, "many Americans say they might provide personal information, depending on the deal being offered and how much risk they face". The worldwide spread of freemium services also proves that not only americans think that way.

Beyond intuition, we can find some figures about the value of personal data. A recent article published by Bruegel present an excellent compilation of the value of personal data for platforms, firms and consumers. The most clear figure is the Google's ARPU (Advertising Revenues Per User) which it is estimated in 45$ per year.

A bold step towards enshrining data as a source of economic power was taken by the Commissioner Vestager a few weeks ago. In a speech in a Big Data conference she left the door open to consider the accumulation of personal data as an element to be analysed in mergers and acquisitions. But the European Commission is not only advancing future scenarios, it is also puting on the table legislative proposals where the economic value of data is plainly recognised. The proposal of a directive for on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content considers data as a possible element of a contract for exchange for services instead of money.

Europe is undervalued by US regarding the digital economy and it is criticised for its excessive regulatory activity. However, starting to assume that personal data is an active element in economic transactions and promote the regulation of this value is an step that could help Europe to recover the digital leadership.



lunes, 7 de marzo de 2016

#Telco #copyright Somewhere in #Digital Europe ... (7/3/2016)

Summary report on the public consultation on the evaluation and the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services

We are now one step closer to the reform of the EU telecom market foreseen in the Digital Single Market Strategy. The European Commission published last week a first analysis of the contributions to the public consultation on the evaluation and the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, which took place from 11 September 2015 to 7 December 2015. The report contains the preliminary trends identified in the replies.



Regulation on ‘cross-border portability’ of online content services: Roaming for Netflix or the end of copyright territoriality?

As the first step for the modernisation of the copyright framework in Europe, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation of the portability of copyrights across Europe. It is a short but complex regulation. The CEPS published a some weeks ago an interesting analysis of this proposal.

miércoles, 2 de marzo de 2016

Google, Apple and creative destruction

The figures show that digital industry is at its peak. In the latest ranking of the 50 top firms by market capitalisation, five out of the top ten companies are internet companies. As you can expect, you find in the two top posts of the ranking Apple and Google. Some decades ago this would mean that these two companies would lead the pack for some years. 

If we take a close look to the sources of revenue from both we will discover the basis of their strong market capitalisation. On one hand, Google obtains $16.7 billion out of $18.6 billion revenue from ads. On the other hand, appstore revenues for Apple grew 24% last year and are now the most significant part of the $5 billion services revenue for the company (10% of Apple revenues)

The digital age is characterised by the speed of the changes, changes that do not respect any actor. This truth is also applicable to both Internet giants. The sources of revenue of both companies look at risk at the beginning of 2016. Ad blockers have grown 41% last year and reached the peak of 181 million users. Smartphone users have become tired of downloading apps and most of them do not install any new app in a month. It is not difficult to foresee that a consolidation of both trends would endanger at the same time Google ad revenues and Apple appstore revenues.

Taking into consideration the above figures is easy to understand why both companies are looking for new sources of revenues (e.g smart home). Without new sources of revenues both companies risk to lost its leadership in market capitalisation in less than two years. The creative destruction paradigm takes speed in the digital age and nothing stays forever.
palyginti kainas