Digitization: Germany sleeps the future – economy

Digitization, was there something? In any case, the three who want to lead the government at the end of September said almost nothing during the premiere of their televised trielle. Why this is so, it is not necessary to wonder for a long time: with this subject, as the parties have been saying for years, no election could be won. If only that was it: Germany’s economic powerhouse is also behaving in such a way that it runs the risk of playing into the future.

The move towards digital is unstoppable. It will continue whether Germany is early or late. With each year where, for various reasons, things hardly happen in this country, it becomes more difficult to help shape this development. On the contrary, there is a growing risk of being simply overwhelmed – as has long been the case with social media, for example.

But is it really that bad? Unfortunately yes. Everywhere you look, there are serious failures. It starts with the basic requirement, network expansion. Former Postmaster General Schwarz-Schilling’s mistake of relying on copper cables rather than optical fibers was only corrected a few years ago. build promising technology. Today, companies that are located somewhere in the country and can hardly send an offer because the network is so lame unload the result.

It continues with projects that fail dramatically or lead a niche existence. For example, there’s the digital ID card – actually a very secure way to identify yourself online. But there is hardly any way to use it for this. Too expensive, too complicated. Or the digital health card. Scheduled since 2001, it has simply failed to build the confidence to make health data available to those who need it. The infrastructure developed for this is also expensive and complicated.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy to identify those responsible. Of course, the policy failed. There are competent digital experts in the parties. The decisions, however, were apparently made by Internet printers and fax enthusiasts. In addition, structural issues also hamper the drive to endow areas such as education and administration with meaningful digital applications.

Too much money goes to external consultants

Education, for example, is the responsibility of the Länder, but schools are in turn run by different sponsors – too much energy is wasted on coordination tasks and the end result is quite often a sub-optimal solution. The really sane idea of ​​solving little things that can be solved there clearly shows its downsides. Many state administrations are clearly overwhelmed by these tasks. That’s why a lot of money, too much money, goes to outside consultants.

But if each country uses its own consultants, different solutions present themselves in the end – the result is the pervasive mess of software that cannot reasonably be linked. And it looks, for example, like employees of the health authorities or the Robert Koch Institute have to transfer data from faxes to computer systems.

A digital ministry, which should now be sufficiently clear, cannot solve the problem either. This just added another layer to the set. Rather, we must tackle the obstacles that are currently holding back everything. They are above all structural problems, and remedying them can only be a matter for the boss.

The fact that the FDP is currently experiencing a boom in the polls could also be linked to the fact that in the eyes of many it is the most likely to advocate digitization. It is increasingly boring for many to see how badly Germany is doing here. The days when hardly anyone is interested in the subject is drawing to a close.

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