The Digibarometer 2020, which compares 22 countries and evaluates how well they utilize digitalization, shows that since last year Finland has improved particularly in the digital capabilities of the public sector but declined in the business sector.
The shortage of specialists is already beginning to show in the results.
Throughout the history of the Digibarometer, since 2014, Finland has ranked among the best three countries.
In 2020, Finland goes up one place from last year. Denmark rises from its last year’s second place to the first. The United States leaps from the first position to third place. The Netherlands remains at fourth, Norway at fifth and Sweden at sixth position. The bottom of the list is once again occupied by Brazil, Italy, and Russia.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Barometer indicates the changes in the "digital position" of the nation, also in relation to other countries. The Digibarometer measures how digitalisation can be utilised in society. There are three categories: the requirements, use and impact, as well as three main sectors: businesses, citizens and the public sector.
Room for improvement
The theme of this year's Digibarometer is cyber security. According to the Barometer, Finland's cyber security is at a reasonably good level. However, companies are affected by information leaks, which are up to three times more common in Finland than in EU countries on average. Consumers' disregard for information security increases the risk.
When comparing different size of businesses, Finnish small enterprises, whose cyber security was better than the EU average on almost all indicators, ranked the best. Large companies performed poorly, even though their cyber security was at a better level than in small enterprises.
Government to increase contributions
In Finland, many key sectors of society are already obliged to ensure information security and cyber security of their services. However, statutory obligations alone are not enough, the Ministry says. They are complemented by voluntary cooperation and exchange of information between the authorities and service providers.
The National Cyber Security Centre operating under the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency plays an important role in providing assistance in investigating breaches of information security and in facilitating the exchange of information based on trust.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the planning and development of cyber security work will be improved by the cyber security development programme that is being prepared and will extend beyond government terms. The programme work is carried out under the leadership of the State Cyber Security Director.
"The objectives of the programme are to translate the national policies into more concrete terms and to clarify the overall picture. However, successful work requires that the resources and cooperation needed for cyber security be taken into account in business and administration," says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
Shortage of competence
The Barometers of recent years have shown that it has been more difficult for Finnish companies to recruit competent ICT professionals.
Compared to last year, the relative position of Finnish companies among the reference countries has also deteriorated in high-speed broadband connections and cloud computing services.
In Finland, there are few information security specialists and there is competition for them. The Barometer reveals that the European labour market lacks, in particular, strategic, business and system architecture skills.