Nordic countries lead e-government drive

16 Dec 2003

Denmark and to a lesser extent Sweden and Finland are spearheading a European move towards implementing e-government services, new research from IDC suggests. Denmark ranks first in both readiness of its population to embrace e-government and in the availability of e-government services.

Ireland along with Spain, Italy and Portugal are found to be relatively sophisticated in the services that have been made available to the public and businesses but face the challenge of how best to make public services accessible to the general public.

Switzerland continues to lag behind the other European countries in terms of the sophistication of the services that have been made available online for constituents, partly due to the decentralised structure of the public sector in that country.

IDC predicts that e-government services spending will grow fastest in Spain, followed by Italy but, in absolute terms, France is the country where most money is being invested in e-government services.

“Few countries are likely to achieve the E-Europe Action Plan objective of having all services online by 2005,” said Marianne Kolding, director of IDC’s European Services research. “However, e-government has definitely become a key component of government modernisation strategies.”

E-government spending in Western Europe will rise from US$2.9bn in 2002 – 16pc of all spending on IT services in the public sector – to US$5.8bn in 2007.

By Brian Skelly