Germany’s Federal Government Digital Strategy was approved in August 2022. The Federal Foreign Office played a significant role in developing the strategy’s content, contributing important experience gained through its own digitalization strategy.
The strategy details specific projects that incorporate measurable, concrete goals that aim to advance digitalization in Germany. These goals feature binding requirements imposed by the federal government on itself in all policy areas.
In Germany, the federal government has already implemented several measures and projects in line with the digital agenda. For example, the government has auctioned off – successfully – mobile broadband radio frequencies, and a federal program to promote broadband deployment has been initiated. In addition, small and medium-sized businesses have received assistance to manage the digitization process via the Mittelstand 4.0 Centres of Excellence.
Federal Foreign Office’s Lighthouse Project
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has contributed to the strategy with a lighthouse project to develop a secure and confidential digital communication platform. Holger Ziegeler, who has held a variety of diplomatic positions since 1992, is responsible for the Foreign Office’s digitization strategy. The platform developed acts as a secure, highly sophisticated digital data exchange system designed to enhance the efficiency of bureaucratic procedures. The platform will also be used, in the future, to exchange information with companies that have stringent data protection requirements, as well as international organizations.
The Role of Gigabit Optical Fiber
In order to accomplish the goals set out in the Digital Strategy, Germany must construct a gigabit optical fiber network by 2025. This is in line with the growing significance of information and communication technology, as well as concerns regarding energy and resource efficiency. This type of infrastructure consumes much less energy than networks of high-performance copper wires. In addition, broadband connections should have speeds of around several gigabits per second symmetrically to ensure a high-quality internet service that offers reliable real-time transmission of data.
The Benefits of a Digitalized Economy
Germany is a leading global economy with an industrial core. As such, the country offers excellent structural preconditions for digitalization, which will lead to the innovation of new products and services and the disruption of traditional market concepts.
The nationwide potential of digital transformation is profound. Germany could see its GDP rise by an addition €82 billion, while the Internet of Things field could offer economic growth of US$11 billion or more. In terms of the latter, the largest proportion of this growth is expected to occur in the industrial production sector.