Published 10. Sep. 2018

How Denmark is Ramping Up Digital Initiatives in the Public Sector?

Explore the untapped opportunities with digitalization in the public sector, a lesson from Denmark.
Public Sector

At the moment, Denmark is already recognized as the most digitize European nation (source). Having 94 percent of the population digitally engage in both online public and private services, the country is well on its way towards a digital society following its New Digital Strategy 2016 -2020. This ever-evolving digitalization landscape has enabled the country to constantly accelerate new technology deployment within the public sector. Its e-Government projects, such as NemID, have already yielded positive responses from the citizens, with 88 percent of the population actively engage with digital public authorities (source).

The government wants Denmark as a digital frontrunner, where all Danes get a share of the benefits of digitalization. The new technologies can make us richer as a nation and has the potential to improve our environment, healthcare, and lives in many ways. We have to utilise that opportunity and bring Denmark into the digital future.”  – Brian Mikkelsen, Danish Minister of Industry, Business and Financial AffairsMinistry of  Industry, Business and Financial Affairs (source)

This article will further discuss the key innovations contributing to Denmark’s IT development in the public sector.



Currently, the rise of blockchain holds tremendous values in identity management. Such innovation will enable the public sector to build a robust IT infrastructure for a nationwide cross-government cooperation. This includes the creation of a shared information and data resource for all government entities to enhance the services delivered. In other words, it means that any authorized government body will be able to pull out someone’s personal data from a single source, instead of having him or her to provide the information multiple times. Not only will it be possible to retrieve an individual’s details without a physical identity card, this also ensures that only relevant information will be shown instead of revealing a complete confidential identification.

Meanwhile, cyber security remains the most important investment area, according to Management Event’s survey on 135 C-level executives. As the welfare system in Denmark is built on the trust of the Danes in their government, it is vital for the public sector to safeguard themselves against cyber threats.

Since Facebook’s controversial Cambridge Analytica data breach, the topic of data privacy has been in the spotlight, along with the yet-to-be-tested impact of GDPR. With higher data consensus requirements and broader individuals’ rights regarding their data ownership, GDPR policy is expected to strengthen the security of digital identity, including biometrics data. As of now, the Danish government is already working on the establishment of its first “data ethics council” as part of the privacy protection in compliance of GDPR.

Definition of biometrics data: “Personal data resulting from specific technical processing relating to the physical, physiological or behavioral characteristics of a natural person, which allow or confirm the unique identification of that natural person.”



One of the key initiatives of the Danish government is to drive new business opportunities as well as economic growth through automation. As a matter of fact, artificial intelligence and machines could replace up to 40 percent of the total working hours in the labor force, an equivalent of 1 million full-time jobs across the country. At ground level, automation in routine tasks, such as reporting, will help to release capacity for more critical tasks that require human intervention. This trend is predicted to deliver 0.8 percentage points to 1.4 percentage points increase in economic growth by 2065 (source).

AI implementation is best demonstrated in the customer experience delivery. As the majority of administrative services in Denmark are now completed online, it is without a doubt that technologies must be deployed to ensure that all citizens’ needs are handled in a nimble manner. For instance, the government has been developing systems powered by AI to process digital welfare payments.

Not only that, by integrating AI in social media management, the government can now identify pressing matters faced by its citizens through the social network (Facebook status or Twitter tweet). Local governments are able to collect and analyze data and respond to rising issues more proactively or even address potential problems based on predictive analytics capability. Imagine being able to predict congestion to alert and provide an alternate travel route to commuters in real time, the opportunities with AI and machine learning are indeed aplenty!

From the citizen’s point of view, AI solutions will become a necessity, from finding information about new policy, navigating local infrastructure, to processing various online applications and even assisting disable citizens. In the business area, capitalizing on the free access to public data, AI can further help private organizations to analyze the consumer behaviors and identifying new trends, capturing market demands and creating new business models.



To elevate the technological impact on its society, the government must first focus on increasing digital competencies among the Danes, especially the next generation. These initiatives not only help to empower the citizens to exploit digital capabilities but also to encourage innovation for a more advanced digital society.

A good example is the establishment of Technology Pact – a collaboration between the government and educational institution following the vision of Denmark’s digital future. This acts as a platform for knowledge sharing, skills development in various technological areas, aiming to promote the STEM subjects among young people in line with the digital requirements within the country.  

According to the Digital Growth Strategy, DKK 18 million has been allocated for the digitalization of vocational education, including a center of IT application for professionals, digital solutions to support the teaching and examining practices, as well as efficient use of satellite-based data on higher education.  

For Denmark to sustain its digital growth, it is critical for the government to ensure a coherent digital deployment of all administrative procedures to align individuals, government as well as businesses in the digital transition roadmap. Learn how can your organization contribute to achieve this goal, join the top decision makers from across the region in our 600Minutes Public IT event!

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