Question. In the field of digitization, what are we at stake as a country with the correct management and use of these funds?
European funds represent an unprecedented opportunity to promote the digitization of our business fabric and turn Spain into a benchmark digital services hub in Europe. The pandemic has accelerated digitization and has shown that it is no longer an option, but an obligation that favors efficiency and resilience, and that contributes to sustainability. Spanish companies are doing well but it is time to accelerate and do better. The cloud services, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity that we offer at Telefónica Tech are indisputable allies to accelerate this transforming process of the business world (especially in the SMEs, which generally suffer a greater digital backwardness).
We have a great challenge ahead of us. We already have excellent connectivity and the most innovative products and solutions to accompany the business fabric, regardless of its size and activity, in its digital advance in the most professional and secure way. Use technology to make operations faster and of higher quality. It is, without a doubt, the moment to take advantage of the outstretched hand of Europe because it is what will allow us to lead the future.
2. What type of projects should Spain focus on in order to achieve the objectives of creating quality employment and contributing to the reactivation of the economy? What criteria should prevail in the distribution, have the largest possible number of companies, including SMEs, or alignment with strategic projects? What could be those driving axles or specific sectors where Spain could have the opportunity to become a benchmark?
European funds must be understood as an investment to modernize our economy, overcome the negative impact of the pandemic and generate long-term value. For this reason, we believe that they should focus on those truly transformative and backbone projects that promote competitiveness, quality employment and economic growth. We are talking, in our opinion, of initiatives that enhance the country’s connectivity, of supporting the digitization plans of SMEs to increase the country’s productivity by accounting for 99% of the business fabric and of improving the welfare state with a focus on health digital, the modernization of the Administration and Justice and education and digital skills. At Telefónica Tech we have sectoral value proposals and highly qualified talent to advise and accompany clients throughout the process.
3. What are the mistakes that we should not make in the process of executing these funds to avoid that what seems like a huge opportunity turns into a big fiasco?
We are at a key moment of reconfiguration of the business models of the companies that will condition our future as a country. We cannot afford mistakes because the correct use of funds could have a multiplier effect and increase GDP by between 1.5 and 2.5 percentage points per year until 2025. Therefore, it is always recommended that companies have good advice to deal with successful digital transformation: get advice on the technology that the business needs when migrating to the cloud safely, which is the first step towards digitization, as well as, for example, knowing what the IoT and Big Data solutions are that a business must implement to help it make better decisions. All this without forgetting, of course, the imperative need to have the appropriate cybersecurity tools to stop any attempted attack that endangers the reputation, results and daily activity of a company. We see in our clients a great commitment, talent and effort to move forward… I am convinced that all together we will take advantage of this historic opportunity.