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Best Practices

E-Estonia – Blueprint for a Digital Nation

E-Estonia – Blueprint for a Digital Nation

The most notable case study of using this approach is Estonia, launching online voting in 2005, with this vendor guide from Cybernetica describing how, and this report speculating how others could reuse the capability.

The critical point is that their approach isn’t a ‘point solution’, meaning a standalone single function unit like the American voting kiosk machines, notable for their lack of security. These serve no other purpose, and in contrast the E-Estonia approach is one of a ‘Platform’ model – It’s simply one of many functions that their Digital Identity-enabled ‘X-Road’ system enables, others include accessing public transport, submitting your taxes online or registering a new company.

In short every aspect of the country is digitized, it has achieved a very mature Digital Nation capability overall, where improved democratic methods go hand in hand with leaner government process and better tools for economic development.

As a country 1/5 the size of Scotland they offer an exemplar case study of the key point of this article, achieving global recognition as a technology innovator for this type of Digital Government leadership.

They receive global recognition not just for their technologies but also for enabling a more entrepreneurial approach, ensuring developers are able to build on their platform, and uniquely lead the world in developing powerful services such as ‘E-Residency’, enabling major US investors to more rapidly set up new businesses.

There is no reason why Scotland, with a much larger population and ICT budget, cannot do the same.

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