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We were at Digital & Tech Conference


A new edition of Digital & Tech Conference, a Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) event, was opened in Zagreb on 28 November.

This year’s Conference gathers international participants and speakers around the subject of digitization of the society. The central topic is the confluence of the IT industry, society and the state, and the way in which legislation stimulates or slows digitization down.

The Conference was opened by the Chairman of the Board of KING ICT and the Vice President of the IT Association at HGK, Plamenko Barišić: "The first of our main goals is to define, describe and measure the Croatian IT industry, the second goal is to open export markets to our companies, the third is to deal with the abolition of administrative barriers, and the fourth goal is the acceleration of the digitization process. We face many challenges, and it is important for us to address them because we are one of the fastest growing industries. It is necessary to create a unique brand of the Croatian IT industry and appear as such on the global markets."

Barišić emphasized in his speech that Croatia has at its disposal HRK 2 billion from EU funds for the IT sector only, but only a small part of this amount has been withdrawn. "We need to strengthen our efforts here, and the Association wants to be an active partner to the public sector in the informatization of the economy," Barišić said and concluded that it is necessary to implement the integration of IT sector with other industries, to make the overall process as successful as possible.

"With no business solutions IT companies today cannot be competitive, but we have to change existing contract models. Clients do not know what they want, so they want the solutions to be tested and IT companies to share risk when implementing new projects. We need to design solutions with customers, but we also have the right to make mistakes. We must be more efficient and reduce the risk of failure," Barišić said, underlining that the share of total state-owned property that participates in GDP is 70 percent, but constitutes only 15 percent of GDP.

"So, it is the 30 percent of private enterprise sector that works on improving its business, investing and developing. The state is slow, it has neither professionals nor resources needed, and it has to open to the private sector in order that the projects, especially those from the EU domain, are better prepared. That is where HGK comes as a great help to us," Barišić said, adding that the fast-moving industry requires huge investments, primarily in people.

The Digital & Tech Conference hosted a number of speakers and panelists who, among other things, talked about their countries’ experiences in the digitization and digital transformation process. The topics of the conference are "What happens after 2020?", "How to stimulate digitization of the economy?", "Impact of digitization on society," "Man and (or) a machine?", "Influence of legislation in the digital world” and “IT or digitization?

Photo Credits: HGK