Estonia, as an enthusiastic and successful user of information and communication technologies (ICT), has gained considerable international recognition. However, a study carried out by the Estonian Information Technology and Telecommunication Union in 2007 showed that the Estonian ICT sector is fragmented, with a few large companies taking the majority of their profits and low profitability of the rest. The shortage of skilled labor is holding back both the growth of the ICT sector and the uptake of ICT in other areas of life. The export of Estonian ICT products, which in 2001 accounted for 25% of the export of Estonian industrial production, dropped by 2007 to only 5% of the export of Estonian goods. Export of computer services is almost unnoticeable from the point of view of Estonia’s balance of payments.
The goal of EST_IT @ 2018 development monitoring was to find out in which areas information and communication technologies can contribute most to the development of the Estonian economy and society over the next decade.
Estonian ICT monitoring focused on the following issues:
- Which ICT technologies offer the most potential for future growth?
- What are the most important areas of Estonia’s socio-economic challenges and growing markets from which the Estonian ICT sector has the potential to benefit?
- What is the untapped potential of ICT to increase the efficiency of the Estonian private and public sector?
- Where to invest in ICT to increase the country’s competitiveness, economic efficiency and social well-being?