The ambition of Nordic Smart Government is to make life simpler for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Nordic region by changing the use of business data and making it available for public and private actors in real-time. This will increase innovation and growth in the Nordic region and create a smoother everyday life for SMEs by greatly reducing their administrative burdens.
The Nordic region shall become the most integrated in the world
This programme is one of a kind in the Nordic Region and will create value for businesses, public authorities and society by sharing data across the region in an automatic, intelligent and secure manner. Nordic Smart Government is a driver of an integrated Nordic region, which is the ambition of the Nordic Prime Ministers. The programme was launched by the Nordic Ministers of Business in May 2018, and is supported financially by Nordic Innovation.
The Nordic Smart Government ecosystem
The Nordic Smart Government vision can be realised by 2027 through an interoperable ecosystem of digital solutions. The ecosystem provides real time business data for Business-to-Business and for Business-to-Government. This will save time for the SMEs and increase the quality of data. Moreover, it simplifies trade in the Nordic region, as invoices may be made in Norway and digitally handled in Finland. It is vital that the governance ensure a democratic data policy with respect for data owners and fair access to data, as opposed to a private monopoly.
The value of making financial data available to Nordic SMEs is estimated by Ernst & Young to be approximately 200 billion DKK yearly from 2027
The goal of the programme is to provide a roadmap by 2020, including legislative and technical implementation across the Nordic countries, to the Nordic Ministers of Business.
Dialogue with Icelandic business sector at successful stakeholder meeting
The Icelandic national team working on Nordic Smart Government held an open stakeholder meeting February 15th in cooperation with SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise.
|Read about the stakeholder meeting|
Once only is one too much
Today we are working hard to reduce the reporting burdens for businesses, the goal is "once only". The Nordic collaboration programme, Nordic Smart Government, however has a more ambitious goal - once only is one too much! This was the main message of the presentation that Special Director David Norheim from the Brønnøysund Register Centre held at the Data Association's conference Software 2019.
|Read about why Nordic Collaboration is important|
Statistics Iceland recently published new statistics on the structure of businesses in Iceland
Iceland has been a part of the Nordic Smart Government project from the very beginning. Statistics Iceland joined the Icelandic team and are contributing to the cooperative work packages working towards making the NSG vision a reality.
|Read the recently published statistics of bussines in Iceland|
The Nordic societies are highly digitalised with advanced digital solutions, as well as a digitally competent business community. However, the digital development is only coordinated to a limited extent, which means that the potential of data is not unlocked, and digitalisation and automation is not interoperable and cannot be fully explored. In the Nordics, digital solutions are developed as separate containers and systems, with the result that businesses are required to submit the same data numerous times in different systems - and sometimes even on paper, so that data remains isolated and unavailable for new business opportunities.
Annual Reports are required to ensure transparency and trust in the market. Today, the businesses’ situation may change rapidly, but Annual Reports do not reflect sudden changes, and thus the report is more or less obsolete. However, to many users, this is still the best data available. This is not adequate in a highly competitive international market. In addition, government regulation and administration inflict heavy administrative burdens upon the SMEs as a result of the reporting requirements. In principle, the same financial raw data is basis for business reporting to Tax Authorities, Business Registries and National Statistical Institutes. The uncoordinated requirements and the non-automatic processes behind financial reporting are estimated to impose administrative burdens on the Danish SMEs which amounts to approximately 6 billion DKK yearly. There are similar analyses from Norway, suggesting at least as heavy burdens in this area in Norway as in Denmark. It is probably the same in the rest of the region.
Nordic Smart Government will define the requirements to an ecosystem with a service environment with multiple databased services made possible due to integrated digital solutions.
The ecosystem consists of public and private systems handling financial and economic data used by the SMEs in various ERP systems, which support their business administration such as transactions and reporting to government authorities, as well as access to financial information for counterparts.
The data is already in the SMEs ERP systems thus the aim is not to provide any governmental database. The focus is on creating coherence between systems for efficient use and reuse of data. This means that the digital systems and solutions must apply standardised interfaces (APIs), which make them able to share data automatically.
The ecosystem provides (almost) real time, detailed, structured and historical data on demand, and thus serves the different needs for data in both business and government decisions. Data will be available real time and thus the ecosystem will facilitate the development of new data-based products and services that can create value for both public and private actors. This implies for example the possibility of real time VAT-reporting.
Benefits for SMEs
Benefits for authorities
Benefits for financial institutions and other stakeholders
The process consist of the following 4 phases:
All five Nordic Business Registries and several other Nordic authorities are working together on Smart Government. Our ambition over the next two years is to define both technical as well as regulatory needs, to test automated flows of financial data in B2B as well as automated reporting B2G. This will be performed in collaboration with both public and private partners, and on the basis of business processes and user needs.
We have defined five work packages and we plan to work closely together in a an agile set-up, which means that the groups meet frequently, share responsibility to define tasks and divide actions to be taken between them, and are able to respond to new insights on the road.
Deloitte on stakeholder analysis
Stakeholder analysis from 2017 based on interviews with more than 70 key stakeholders in the Nordic region.
EY on B2B BC
Report from January 2018 showing substantial benefits for SMEs when sharing and utilising data more efficiently in the business-to-business processes and internal business processes.
KMPG on security analysis
High-level security analysis from June 2016 on how to ensure a secure SmartGovernment environment. The security report was made in the initial phase of the Nordic Smart Government collaboration. Some of the implicit assumptions are not valid any more (such as the idea of a central data base). Still, the report gives an overview of risk and security aspects, which is useful for both present and future work on security.
Test of data warehouse
Proof-of-Concept which demonstrates the technical possibility of SmartGovernment, i.e. the possibility of making financial reports automatically.
DanSense - B2B Nordic Data Exchange
Overview of Nordic interfaces and standards for exchange of data between business actors in procurement, payment, inventory management and product catalogue management.
Nordic SmartGovernment Architecture Report
The report covers some major business processes related to Nordic SmartGovernment and some application functions needed to make this a reality.
Nordic SmartGovernment Folder 2018 - a brief introduction
With financial support from Nordic Innovation, the Nordic collaboration on SmartGovernment started in 2016.
Today, all five Nordic Business Registries are project partners in the collaboration.
As Business Registries, we are concerned with the businesses’ annual reporting. The idea of Smart Government arose in Denmark, motivated by a wish to, in general, remove the businesses’ administrative burdens related to mandatory reporting to the government. In Denmark there is now a particular focus on making a PoC on automatic reporting of financial data, under the name Automatic Business Reporting.
In the Nordic collaboration we have worked on describing the business layer of an ecosystem for efficient dataflow between the actors involved – both SMEs, as well as government authorities, service providers, creditors and other actors utilising financial and economic data in their business processes, services or products. Our aim is to create value from the business data for all stakeholders. In particular, our focus is on making life simpler for SMEs as well as making data available for innovation and growth.
We believe in a digital ecosystem with both privately and publicly owned solutions, where different actors work together to ensure efficient data flow. How precisely this should be, we do not know yet, but we wish to engage stakeholders in a dialogue to further explore this together with competent and innovative actors.
Nordic Smart Government is a collaboration between the following organisations and countries: