President Ilves supports the idea of an IT minister
Amid discussions over the future of the Estonian IT industry, president Toomas Hendrik Ilves has publicly supported the idea of creating an IT minister position to shape the digital development of the country.
“The presence of an IT minister would contribute to more powerful implementation of developments in educational and labour policies,” he said at an opening address at the annual IT and communication sector conference “From Vision to Solution”.
The industry agrees that it needs the help of the public sector in order to rebound, as the future of the sector looks threatened by the shortage of labour force, over-bureaucracy in foreign labour issues and the lack of new, bright ideas.
However, some industry spokesmen said it does not have to be a ministry position. “We need someone to take care of the sector. We do not need a minister; a deputy chancellor is enough,” said software developer Taavi Kotka.
Head of Microsoft Baltics, Rain Laane, supported the president’s idea, adding that it would be similar to the Chief Innovation Officer position which has been set up in some countries to support the industry development in the state level. “The public and private sector are at a distance because there is a lack of people in the public sector who would be responsible to find out new technologies, to test and implement them. There is no single public officer who would voluntarily start to use a new, strange technology; there has to be someone who directs him to do it,” he said.