Digital Spain 2025: A boost for SMEs
Blog: AuraQuantic Blog
Digital Spain 2025 is a program designed to promote the digital and sustainable transformation of the economy and, ultimately, of Spanish society. A set of 48 measures grouped into 10 strategic axes with participation from 15 ministries and different public bodies as well as more than 25 economic, business and social agents.
Specifically, Digital Spain 2025 is part of a package of measures launched by the Government, together with the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and the SME Digitization Plan, aimed at promoting the adoption of digital solutions, by small and medium-sized companies and the self-employed
If you are the owner of a SME and you think your business needs a boost, then we will explain how to leverage the Digital Spain 2025 program to make the vital leap to digitalization that your business needs.
What is Digital Spain 2025?
The Spain 2025 program is made up of a package of 48 measures that are articulated around ten strategic axes, which are:
Guarantee adequate digital connectivity for the entire population, both in rural and urban areas.
Objective: By 2025, 100% of the population will have a minimum coverage of 100 Mbps.
1. Digital connectivity plan: Aimed at improving broadband infrastructure.
2. New Telecommunications Law, adapted to the European Code of Electronic Communications, to encourage investment by operators in the deployment of next generation networks and strengthen user rights.
3. Plan to attract digital infrastructures for cross-border data storage and processing.
Promote the deployment of 5G, as an instrument designed to encourage economic productivity, social progress and territorial structuring.
Objective: By 2025, 100% of the radio spectrum must be prepared for 5G.
4. Complete release of the 700 MHz band, for use in 5G mobile communications.
5. Assignment of the priority frequency bands required for 5G, based on what was agreed by the EU Radioelectric Spectrum Policy Group.
6. New measures to promote and deploy 5G outside large towns.
7. Regulatory proposal for 5G cybersecurity, linked to the Draft 5G Cybersecurity Law.
8. Development of 5G transport corridors, to achieve a level of uninterrupted 5G coverage, both in large urban areas and on the main communication routes (motorways, dual carriageways and railway lines).
9. Leadership in European innovation projects related to the development of new generations of mobile technology, such as 6G.
Strengthen digital skills, for the working population and citizens as a whole, to put an end to the digital divide.
Objective: In 2025, 80% of people will have basic digital skills and 50% will be women.
10. Program ‘Educa en digital’: Aimed at digitizing the Spanish educational system.
11. National digital skills plan: To improve the digital skills of the entire population.
12. ‘Digital University’ Plan: This plan pursues the digitization of the Spanish university system.
Cybersecurity represents one of the main concerns worldwide, not only for companies, but also for different countries.
On the one hand, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) published the Global Cybersecurity Index in the summer of 2021. An annual report that collects the level of cybersecurity in the different countries around the world, and in which Spain is positioned behind the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Estonia, and equal to South Korea and Singapore.
On the other hand, the various reports published by different renowned analyst firms, such as Gartner, Forrester and PwC, confirm increased business investments in cybersecurity, due to the increase in the number of cyberattacks.
According to data published by Forrester, in its annual Predictions 2022 report, “55% of security professionals reported that their organization had an incident involving their supply chain or third-party vendors in the last 12 months.”
According to Gartner and its report on Strategic Technology Trends for 2022, the cybersecurity mesh will be one of the key factors when drawing up the corporate.
The Digital Trust Survey 2022 report prepared by PwC, based on a survey of 3,602 cybersecurity managers (CISOs), CEOs, and senior managers from 66 countries, confirms that organizations are aware that risks are rising and expect cyberattacks on companies to increase above the levels recorded in 2021.
Faced with this scenario, Spain wants to continue to improve cybersecurity for Public Administrations and SMEs, launching different programs and help lines.
Objective: By 2025, we want 20,000 specialists in cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence and data.
13. Cybersecurity helpline number 017, provided by INCIBE.
14. Strengthen cybersecurity for citizens, SMEs and professionals: With training and awareness campaigns, and the creation of help lines for companies and professionals.
15. Promotion of the business ecosystem in the cybersecurity sector, through initiatives, such as competitions for projects in the initial phase and the consolidation of startups, through public-private venture capital funds.
16. Spain, international cybersecurity node: Promote the participation of Spain in the different international initiatives in the field of cybersecurity, such as the candidacy to host the future European Cybersecurity Centre.
17. Deployment and operation of the Cybersecurity Operations Center, as a facilitating element for compliance with the National Security Scheme.
Digitization of Public Administrations
Key public services, such as Justice and Employment, will be immersed in a process of updating their technological infrastructures. This is intended to personalize and simplify the relationship between citizens and companies with the Public Administrations.
Objective: By 2025, approximately 50% of public services will be available on a mobile app.
18. App factory: With this initiative, it is intended that, by the end of 2025, half of public services will be available on mobile applications.
19. Multi-platform accessibility of public services.
20. Centralized System of Electronic Notifications (SCNE) and System of Interconnection of Registries (SIR).
In the first place, the Centralized System of Electronic Notifications for citizens and companies will be launched, enabling automated processing solutions.
Secondly, the connection of all the Public Administrations to the Registry Interconnection System will be completed, favoring their digital hyper-connectivity.
In addition, the data intermediation platform will be promoted, to avoid requesting information from citizens and companies that is already in the hands of the Administrations.
Finally, electronic invoicing will be promoted in Public Sector contracts.
21. Updating the technological infrastructures in the public sector, providing services in the private cloud. Furthermore, these services will in turn be supplemented by public cloud providers.
22. Next-generation position, promoting mobility and remote work for public servants.
23. Improvement of the regulatory framework for digital administration, through the Royal Decree project that develops Law 39/2015, of October 1, of the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations and Law 40/2015, of October 1 , of the Legal Regime of the Public Sector, in matters of public sector operations by electronic means.
24. Projects to digitize public services, such as Justice and Employment.
25. GOBTECHLAB Innovation Laboratory: Development of pilot innovation programs for the application of advanced technologies in the transformation of public services.
The digitization of companies, especially SMEs, micro-SMEs and startups, is one of the key points on the Digital Spain 2025 agenda and the 2021-2025 SME digitization plan. As specified in this plan, the digitization of businesses, understood as a process of innovation and change, based on the integration of digital technologies and services, must be carried out according to the particular circumstances of each business and each sector.
In addition, this process of change requires an analysis and fine-tuning of different areas or dimensions that make up the digitization plan for SMEs, which are: technical equipment and technological infrastructure, cultural change, customer experience, digital skills for workers, products and services, and the redesign of processes based on technologies such as automation and hyperautomation.
Objective: By 2025, at least 25% of SME turnover must originate from electronic commerce.
26. Plan to promote the digitization of SMEs in their production processes, using data and new technologies.
27. Accelerate SMEs: The Accelerate SMEs Program includes a set of measures aimed at supporting the digitization and modernization of SMEs from all economic sectors. Advice, training and financial support are the main avenues of support.
28. National Entrepreneurship Office (ONE, by its Spanish acronym): Virtual platform that, in collaboration with the network of Entrepreneur Service Points, will inform about news, events, aid programs, etc., related to digital entrepreneurship.
29. Startup Law: The Startup Law, approved in December 2021, defines startups as “companies that are innovative, recently created or with an age of up to 5 years in general, or 7 years in the case of biotechnology, energy and industrial companies; that have their registered office, permanent establishment and most of their employment in Spain; that have not distributed dividends and are not listed, and that have income of up to 5 million euros”.
30. Spain’s Entrepreneurial Nation Program to Support Digital Entrepreneurship and Startups. The objectives of this program are to:
- Promote digital entrepreneurship, through the National Entrepreneurship Office.
- Create a web portal for digital entrepreneurship.
- Promote areas of the 2030 Agenda related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Constitute a discussion forum with startups and agents of the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem.
- Improve the regulatory framework that affects entrepreneurs and startups.
31. Modernization of the public financial architecture to support digital entrepreneurship and SMEs with a public-private fund.
The objective is to invest in SMEs and technology startups that develop solutions related to the cloud, cybersecurity, big data & analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
32. Collaboration program between the different centers linked to entrepreneurship, so that SMEs can access a wide range of digitization and financing solutions.
Digitalization of the product model
Digitization and sustainability constitute an indivisible binomial, as demonstrated by the SDGs established in the 2030 Agenda. Therefore, the degree of involvement of the different sectors, when carrying out their digital transformation process, will have a direct impact on the level of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere. The greater the digitization, the smaller the ecological footprint generated by organizations.
Objective: By 2025, CO2 emissions will reduce by 10% thanks to digitalization.
33. Tractor project 1: Comprehensive digitization of the digital agri-food sector.
34. Tractor project 2: Digital transformation of the Spanish National Health System and the health sector.
35. Tractor project 3: Promotion of sustainable and connected mobility.
36. Tractor project 4: Digitization of Spanish tourist destinations and related companies, mainly SMEs.
37. Tractor project 5: Digitization of SMEs and micro-SMEs to aid competitiveness.
38. Launch of tractor projects for digitization in the industrial and energy sectors.
Spanish audiovisual HUB
Spain aims to gain greater prominence within the European audiovisual sector by attracting foreign investment and international talent.
Objective: By 2025, audiovisual production in Spain will increase by 30%.
39. General Law of Audiovisual Communication Services Project: Law Reform 7/2010, General Law of Audiovisual Communication, to simplify the administrative burdens of companies in the sector and attract foreign investment.
40. Spanish audiovisual HUB: the plan: A plan to improve the competitiveness of Spanish companies in the audiovisual sector.
The digital economy, also known as the data economy, can be defined as the set of initiatives and projects in which data is gathered, organized, and exchanged by a network of vendors for the purpose of identifying business opportunities that enable the design of new products and services.
This concept is especially relevant for the 2025 Digital Agenda, since it is intended to promote the data economy and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as areas of economic growth and opportunity.
Objective: By 2025, at least 25% of companies will use Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.
41. National AI Strategy, as an instrument to favor the development and adoption of AI.
42. Data Office: Body that will guarantee good governance in the use of data, both in the public and private sectors.
43. AI Advisory Council: It will address all issues related to the promotion of a safe AI ecosystem and oriented to the search for excellence.
44. Cloud Strategy at European level: Within the European Cloud Federation initiative, Spain intends to promote the development of advanced data communication technologies such as HPC, Quantum Computing or Edge Computing.
A Nonnormative document that aims to describe the different digital contexts that determine conflicts and the new challenges of applying and interpreting digital rights.
Objective: To draft a digital rights charter.
45. Digital rights charter: Presented by the Government mid-2021.
46. Digital Future Society: Initiative that seeks to improve the impact of technology on society, through different programs and events such as the Civil Lab or the Digital Future Society Summit.
47. Participation in European initiatives and international debates on digital rights.
48. Modernization of the labor framework applicable to remote work, with Law 10/2021, of July 9, on remote work.
How can SMEs benefit from Digital Spain 2025?
In Spain, companies with less than 50 workers, micro-SMEs and the self-employed, represent 98.99% of the business fabric. Therefore, it is not surprising that the good progress of the country’s economy depends, to a large extent, on this type of organization that encompasses 49.11% of jobs, according to data extracted from a recent report published in the Ministry of Industry’s official portal for small and medium-sized companies.
On the other hand, if we focus on the set of countries that make up the EU, the situation is very similar to that of Spain. Micro-enterprises and SMEs make up 99% of the entire set of organizational units that offer goods and services, based in one of the territories that have adopted the euro as the single currency. To this figure we must add the volume of employment generated by this type of organization that reaches 100 million workers, which according to information provided by the European portal for SMEs, represents more than half of Europe’s GDP.
However, it is worth considering the particularities that differentiate micro-SMEs from small and medium-sized companies, since, on occasions, these types of organizations can take on varied shapes and sizes. The number of employees and the volume of business generated are two factors that can be taken into consideration.
Medium: more than 250 employees and, a turnover that is equal to or greater than 50 million euros per year.
Small: more than 50 employees and can reach a turnover equal to or greater than 10 million euros per year.
Micro: They have more than 10 employees and their turnover may be equal to or greater than 2 million euros per year.
The digital transformation and digitization of SMEs has become of paramount importance as a consequence of the economic and social effects derived from the COVID-19.
Given this situation, Digital Spain 2025 aims to act as a catalyst to help SMEs face the digitization challenge and contributes to policy included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, launched with the Next Generation EU funds named ‘Modernization and digitization of the industrial and SME fabric’.
Among the main channels of aid for companies, SMEs, micro-SMEs and the self-employed, those included in strategic axes six and seven stand out as they are linked to business digitization and the productive model analyzed in the previous point.
With regard to the strategic axis of business digitization, the most relevant measures are in a program called ‘Acelera PYME’. This program is articulated around three axes of action:
- The platform: This includes a test to find out the degree of digitization, as well as all kinds of content and services aimed at promoving the digitization of SMEs.
- The network: A physical and virtual meeting point, aimed at supporting small and medium-sized companies (including startups), freelancers and entrepreneurs, in their digital transformation process. The portfolio of services offered include advice and resolution of queries on new digitization processes, technical conferences, practical workshops, informationon on access to public and private financing, promotion of synergies between different agents and technological and infrastructure services, etc.
- The support: Remote and in-person support and advice service for new digitization processes, access to public and private financing lines, and other issues.
In strategic axis number seven, related to the digital transformation of the production model, it is worth highlighting the ‘tractor projects’. These are a set of in initiatives launched by the administration, to promote the digitization of the following strategic sectors: agri-food, health, mobility, tourism and retail.
In addition to these ‘tractor projectors’, digitization projects are planned to be launched in other sectors such as industry and energy.