Resistance biggest obstacle to digital transformation

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The biggest problem faced in the digital transformation effort is resistance to change, said Deputy Minister for Research and Innovation Kyriacos Kokkinos.

He presented his Deputy Ministry’s 2023 budget and the work it has carried out during the past two years since its establishment.

Kokkinos said an action plan was needed to encourage more young people in Cyprus to study technology-related programmes as there are currently staff shortages in this sector.

He also argued that tech jobs in Cyprus must match the same salary and benefits offered abroad to prevent the brain drain to other countries.

“Cyprus has become a technology hub, with many tech companies operating in the country, and employing, in the IT sector alone, around 15,000 professionals, which has motivated people to return.”

MPs discussed that within two years, the deputy ministry implemented a fully digital system for managing the pandemic, created and developed the gov.cy portal, increased digital services, and upgraded telecommunications.

According to the data, Cyprus went up four places within two years in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), now used to monitor EU countries’ progress in implementing the EU Digital Decade 2030 policy agenda.

Kokkinos also referred to the “resistance to change” issue regarding digital transformation.

He said that changing systems was “the easy part” but that if structures and processes are untouched, then digital transformation will not succeed.

A campaign will be launched to encourage companies that want to establish operations in Cyprus to choose cities other than Limassol, which “is saturated”.

Kokkinos said there is a problem now in Limassol, what he called an “environmental burden”, with increased traffic and the “financial burden” of rising rents.