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The digital transformation advances, but there is not a real strategic plan

August 16, 2016 on Digital4 B2B website

The intervention of Paolo Catti highlighted the predominant role of the legal requirements adaptation as a boost to digital transformation, but next to the legal "engine" , also a boost to B2B relationships innovation came from the technological offer.

The Digital Transformation is a challenge for many companies and public administrations and it is already transforming the system of relations between businesses and public administration. No one can afford to overlook this phenomenon that will be increasingly vital to determine the competitiveness of companies and the efficiency of public administrations.The intervention of Paolo A. Catti, Associate Partner of P4i (Partners4Innovation) can be useful to understand the volume of the phenomenon and to follow its development. Catti spoke about the two major "driving forces" that accompany the digitization, namely the regulatory and technological changes. From these two innovation engines, the digital transformation processes take shape with digital preservation, electronic Invoicing, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange, the exchange of data in a structured electronic format), the development of B2B portals and B2B eCommerce, digital workflow solutions,  electronic bills and many other forms of B2B business relationship.

From the regulatory point of view, Catti highlighed that there are grounds to build a clear picture of indications from the legislature aimed to stimulate the use of digital to create the Single European Digital Market. They are shared rules to be applied in trade relations in all EU countries. At the same time, Catti noted that the deals grew in terms of products and solutions, they became more reliable and companies have more opportunities. The results of the electronic billing and dematerialization observatory of Politecnico di Milano showed that in 2013 ca. 5,000 firms saved their bills in digital format- respectively 39% of large companies and just over 1% of SMEs in Italy. With the the digital billing to the PA - regulatory stimulus – the number of companies who saved bills in digital format has grown by 2,500% between 2013 and 2014, exceeding 130,000 units.

Furthermore, according to the Observatory, in 2014, 10,000 companies were connected via EDI - respectively 38% of large companies and just over 3% of SMEs in Italy. Today, these rose by 650,000 units: enterprises which issued ca. 25m of structured electronic Invoices only in 2015 to the Italian PA (AGID datas).
Datas confirm that the digital transformation is taking place and is affecting our economy and our society. But Catti noted that the phenomenon is still poorly governed at the moment and looks very influenced by regulatory obligations. It seems that there is not an overview, able to give life to a real digital engineering.