Digitalisation strategies

Universal and, above all, inclusive national digitalisation is one of the most important issues for the Austrian government and for Austria's future.

Essential elements in achieving this objective include the many different online services, platforms and strategies which are designed not only to inform people and make them more digitally aware, but also to help them all to make progress equally quickly and easily.

Austria is shaping its digital transformation and the associated necessary framework conditions on the basis of detailed strategic principles which have been, and are being, developed with the participation of experts and stakeholders.

The digitalisation umbrella brand "Digital Austria" was created as a strategic framework for communicating with the general public.

Digital Austria

Digital Austria is the initiative launched by the Republic of Austria to achieve successful and comprehensive digitalisation.

Digital Austria

As the umbrella brand for digitalisation in Austria, we take the vision of a digitally responsible society very seriously.

Digital Austria

Digital Austria is shaping and steering Austria's digital lifeline with the aim of making Austria a leading digital nation.

Digital Austria

The federal government, provinces, municipalities and local communities are setting their course for a successful future.

Digital Austria

The Digital Austria brand is good for Austria's prosperity and also brings benefits for the general population. The Digital Austria campaign is motivated by the ultimate vision of a society in which people find the perfect conditions for embracing digitalisation, responsibly and successfully, in all areas of their lives.

Digital Austria

Digital Austria is careful to pursue a digitalisation policy from which as many people as possible can benefit. In everyday terms, that means reducing bureaucracy – making many things easier for businesses and people – carrying everyone forwards.

International influences on Austria

With its Digital Decade initiative, the European Union aims to speed up the digital transformation throughout Europe.

Key objectives include:

  • A population with basic digital skills and specialists with advanced digital skills
  • Secure and sustainable digital infrastructure
  • Successful digital transformation by businesses 
  • Digitalised public services
With its Digital Compass, the European Union has shown countries the "European Way for the Digital Decade". In addition to its major objectives, the Compass also includes specific targets ("digital targets") within the different areas for action and a mechanism for structured cooperation and monitoring.

Digitale Kompass der Europäischen Union zeigt vier Handlungsfelder Government - Skills - Infrastructure - Business auf. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are 17 objectives defined by the United Nations to be applied worldwide to ensure sustainable development in economic, social and ecological terms.

Technological progress forms the basis for achieving, for example, environmental objectives, including better resource and energy efficiency. Technology and innovation bring industrialisation, which in its turn encourages the development of high-tech products. The expansion of mobile phone services also improves connections between people. 

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is the European Commission's main tool for measuring the degree of digitalisation in all EU member states and the progress they are making. The index focuses mainly on four key areas which play a central role in the digital transformation.

Austria's strategies (examples)

Austria is implementing the objectives of the Digital Decade on the strategic foundation of the Digital Compass. Ways of moving towards the objective and suggested measures to be taken have been developed for all areas.
The strategies relate both to cross-cutting aspects of digitalisation and also to specific issues. The principal strategies that are relevant to implementing the Digital Decade in Austria are as follows:

The Digital Action Plan for Austria

The Austrian federal government is working to achieve digitalisation for all – society, business and the public administration service. Universal and comprehensive digitalisation will not only encourage faster growth but will also create new jobs and opportunities for everyone in Austria. It will all be made possible thanks to the Digital Action Plan for Austria, which is being developed in a broad-based, agile process. Experts from all kinds of different specialist areas in different government departments, together with those who will benefit from the projects and measures being taken, are all equally involved. The different stages of the action plan are being worked out on a scientific basis. This fact-finding process results in concrete projects or legal measures for which implementation plans and budgets are drawn up. In each area of action there are also specific experts who take part in the project and keep the public informed about the progress that has been made and the goals achieved. Then the final implementation measures and decisions are presented to the public.

Digital Austria Act

Extending digitalisation more widely across the whole country will not only bring increased prosperity and security but will also open up new opportunities. The Digital Austria Act sets out exactly how this innovative process is being regulated. Consisting of 117 measures and 36 digitalisation principles, the aim of the Digital Austria Act is to reshape digitalisation in Austria. The various priority areas affect the entire Austrian federal government and all its departments. Because all aspects of people's lives need to be included, the essential preconditions, such as the applicable data protection principles and barrier-free accessibility, are being taken into account in the implementation process.

Austria's E-Government Strategy

The aim of this is for all the state's applications and services to meet the requirements for modern, citizen-friendly and user-centric technology. For that reason, both current and future modern technologies are being used for the digital public administration applications and services. Whichever technology is used, care is being taken to ensure that it is technically secure and reliable, embedded in a trustworthy ethical and legal framework and always focused on citizens' welfare. The information age brings with it the danger that socially disadvantaged people, older people and those with disabilities may be excluded from the new media and technologies. To avoid this digital divide, certain measures, such as implementing the guidelines of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) on better accessibility to the state's websites and mobile applications, have been made an integral part of e-government in Austria.

Digital Skills Initiative

The Austrian government's Digital Skills Initiative is the first nationwide stakeholder initiative. In the campaign, Austria is dedicating all its energy to improving digital skills across the whole country. The aim is to make digital expertise transparent for employers, employees and providers and actively promote digital skills development. The campaign also hopes to improve the basic digital knowledge of the general population and level of IT skills in the economy. This will not only create new opportunities, but will help Austria to rise up the rankings in the European DESI Index (Digital Economy and Society Index). That index shows that most of the population between the ages of 16 and 74 still lack basic digital skills. The main gaps in knowledge relate to general principles, the increasingly important matter of IT security, and widespread differences between the generations, genders and urban and rural populations. This is exactly where the Digital Skills Campaign comes in.

Broadband expansion – 5G Strategy

The coronavirus pandemic showed us – and not for the first time – that a properly functioning digital infrastructure is the backbone of societal and, above all, economic life. For that reason, the federal government is committed to an integrated plan for expanding fixed and mobile communications infrastructure, to establish gigabit-capable networks using public resources. To speed up broadband expansion, the federal government is providing funding for it across the country. The aim is to create nationwide, gigabit-capable networks. In Austria the demand for gigabit-capable connections is rising steadily, even from domestic consumers. In that respect, Austria is one of the leaders compared with other European countries. However, for a country to remain competitive internationally in the future, it needs more than just fast networks. A gigabit society also has to have innovative mobile and fixed applications. That's why the Gigabit Triple A (Awareness.Applications.Austria) funding programme has been launched, offering 10 million euros to support innovation in the field of 5G applications, and regional development in particular.

Austrian Youth Strategy

The Austrian federal government wants not just to push ahead with its domestic youth policy but actively to strengthen it and for that reason it has launched the Austrian Youth Strategy. Its aim is to coordinate measures for young people, making them more systematic and thereby more effective. The strategy identifies four areas for action – education and employment, participation and engagement, quality of life and community spirit, and media and information. Within these four areas for action, a total of 33 youth objectives have also been identified in each federal ministry, which are intended to bring Austrian young people closer to the centre of political action and enable them to participate in it.

AI Strategy

Hardly any other technical achievement will change the world as much as artificial intelligence (AI). From bringing important competitive advantages for companies to necessitating social and environmental transformation processes – AI will both support and define our everyday lives in all kinds of different ways. So it is all the more important to put in place clear rules for AI so that we can take full advantage of its positive potential and act decisively against the possible dangers. To succeed in this, the Austrian federal government has put in place its own strategy, called AIM AT 2030 (Artificial Intelligence Mission Austria). Based on the European Union's Coordinated Action Plan on AI, the Austrian strategy defines the fundamental principles that are required to make artificial intelligence trustworthy and contains concrete measures for establishing a functioning AI ecosystem. 

Austrian Strategy for Cybersecurity

A world that is becoming more and more digitised presents not only new opportunities such as online banking, online shopping and digital administrative channels but also the potential for new dangers which must be taken seriously. Cyberattacks and cybercrime are no observers of national borders and will continue to increase in the years to come. For that reason, cybersecurity – by which is meant acting safely and correctly in and with cyberspace – is becoming not only more important but absolutely essential for the security of nations and their populations. Within Austria, we are taking on this huge challenge with the Cybersecurity 2021 strategy, ÖSCS 2021 for short. There are two parts to it. First of all, it sets out a long-term strategic overview, with a description of the starting position, the challenges and the opportunities, the framework for implementing the strategy and how it will be monitored. The second part identifies the measures in the strategy that will be needed to achieve its objectives. In addition to the ÖSCS 2021 strategy, the platform is an online resource that is intended to raise awareness among the general public about "How to stay safe on the Internet". The platform offers services, explanatory videos and news about cybersecurity, as well as focusing on aspects of technology and giving an overview of various initiatives and services. 

ICT security portal / Onlinesicherheit

For the federal government and for the country as a whole, the security of its citizens, not only in the analogue world but also in the digital world, is a high priority. To ensure security there too, users of cyberspace need to be made more aware of the risks and a contact point created which offers information in the event of cyberattacks but can also be consulted about any questions or uncertainties to do with using the Internet. This has been achieved in the form of Austria's ICT security portal Onlinesicherheit, which is both a specialist website and a digital space where citizens can gain that essential awareness about cybersecurity. The ICT security portal is an inter-departmental initiative in partnership with Austrian businesses and serves as a central online portal for anything to do with the security of information and communications technology (ICT). On the Onlinesicherheit platform itself, services and up-to-date news about cybersecurity can be accessed at any time, as well as explanatory videos and an overview of current services and initiatives.

Ö-Cloud Initiative

Almost nothing is more important for users of the Internet than their data. That is why for several years cloud services have been among the most popular and simplest ways of securing data digitally, quickly and easily. How this data is handled and used is another essential factor in a successful digital transformation. This is where the federal government's Ö-Cloud Initiative comes in, designed to support domestic businesses in particular in managing and using their data securely. The providers of cloud services in Austria have the option of completing a self-evaluation process in accordance with strict and transparent security standards in order to be awarded the Ö-Cloud quality seal. This seal then demonstrates that the providers are committed to complying with strict, transparent, international security standards and to implementing the GDPR.

Open Government Data

To promote national visibility and transparency, the portal has been set up as a central "Austria" catalogue which receives the metadata from the decentralised data catalogues of the administrative agencies in Austria and makes it available to download. Users can not only search for individual subjects like "Education, Culture and Sport", "Health" or "International Affairs" but also carry out an advanced search which allows them to search all the open datasets and services available from public administration agencies. For example, the Austrian Parliament has its own data presence there, where you can download all licensed datasets including the more important information about the interface. The lawful basis for the portal is the cooperation agreement between the state, federal provinces, municipalities and communities (BLSG). That stated that this joint portal would be planned, implemented, operated and developed.

Identity management in accordance with data protection requirements (the ssPIN (bPK) concept)

For data protection purposes, the personal identification number (sourcePIN) of natural persons (private individuals) may not be stored by the authorities. Under the Citizen Card concept, natural persons may only be identified by the authorities using sector-specific personal identifiers (ssPINs). These are derived from the sourcePIN of the person in question. It must not be possible to reverse the process or trace the derivation. A sector-specific personal identifier applies only to the area of activity of the authority responsible for the particular process that has been initiated. A sector-specific personal identifier from a different area may only be used in encrypted form. The sourcePIN may only be used to work out the ssPIN with the cooperation of the person in question – by them using their Citizen Card.