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Željko Vujinović, General Manager, Microsoft Serbia & Montenegro

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Digital transformation implies close cooperation among all market participants – the state, businesses and citizens

No single subject is more important than any other, everyone should contribute to success in their own domain, says Microsoft Serbia & Montenegro Director Željko Vujinović.

You are among the few companies that advocate for the digital transformation of the market and raising awareness of the significance of the ICT sector. How would you assess the results of the campaign to date?

– It is noticeable that a lot has really changed in Serbia in the last few years – both in the private and public sectors. The private sector is naturally faster in the applying of ICT and digitisation, but there is also a clear initiative of the state to ensure part of the services provided to citizens and the economy are improved and made more efficient, precisely by more intensive application of ICT.

However, this process is not unfolding quickly enough – not to the extent that we’d all like. That’s why we have to set priorities together, in order for us to see concrete results as soon as possible. We especially emphasise this at each of our annual “Sinergija” conferences, dedicated specifically to digital transformation.

What is lacking for these efforts to be made more efficient?

– This is regulations in many segments. In order for some things to come to life, there must be an existing system according to which business is done. Another obstacle is the level of education and awareness among people who need to know what benefits they can realise by using new technologies.

In the digital transformation process, no subject of society is more important than any other. Everyone needs to contribute to success in their own domain. The state is certainly an important element, considering all the resources it has at its disposal, without which new digital services could not be implemented for either the economy or citizens.

On the other hand, citizens are just as important as users of all new digital services. The ultimate goal of digital transformation is to improve quality of life.

The economy is equally important, as it defines and sets requirements: what is needed for it to be more efficient and competitive, to be able to develop new products and more easily access users.

It is evident that a lot has really changed in Serbia in the last few years – both in the private and public sectors

To what extent has cooperation been established between the private and government sectors in this area?

– Our view is that digital transformation should take place with close collaboration between all participants on the market scene and in society as a whole.

It is firstly necessary to engage the state in the realisation of projects that will support new digital services, and then to support changing the legislation. It is evident that there are many initiatives to change regulations, as well as to collect information about digital services that are needed for the economy to do business more efficiently, but also an initiative for gathering information from citizens.

A significant step was also taken with the establishment of the Office for IT and Electronic Governance. The state has also unequivocally supported the Digital Serbia initiative, which is backed by the leading IT companies on our market and which has the precise goal of creating the optimum environment for the development of the digital economy and ecosystems necessary for providing technological entrepreneurship and digital innovations in industry, culture and education.

Such a trend absolutely proves the existence of awareness regarding the importance of digital transformation, especially when it comes to the further economic development of the country. The state also shows strong initiative in digitising the education sector, which is where everything starts from.