We are now moving deeper into the data driven economy so it is necessary to reflect on the journey so far and what we see on the horizon.
1. First the Why. The Real Time Economy program has been focusing on improving competitiveness especially for the SME-sector from the very beginning (2006) for three reasons: 1. About 65% of turnover and employment come from this sector, 2. While
large enterprises cut workforce, the SME-sector is adding considerably, 3. SMEs have more potential to rationalise administration and more need to get real time financials, 4. EU-harmonization is especially important for smaller enterprises, 5. RTE cuts public
sector costs and improves services - again important for SMEs
2. As the RTE is now moving into the next phase - the data driven economy - there are new opportunities to improve the SME-sectors absolute and relative position - both by giving them wider and increasingly real time access both to their own - increasingly
structured - data and to in some cases even more important big data - often collected as a by-product of tax and other reporting. Both member states and the commission should promote this thinking and make already existing and new data available to enterprises
through open standardised interfaces. Income data is a good starting point - for automated financing etc.
3. More digital (cost efficient and better service) and thus more competitive SMEs are improving the productivity both in larger enterprises and the public sector.
4. Data from financial and administrative processes are rapidly becoming
structured and standardised, are almost by definition trusted and verified and should get as close to real time as possible. This data is thus an especially valuable and central element both in process automation, modern service design (especially
when using artificial intelligence), economy forecasting and BigData availability at large.
5. The accounting industry and real time VAT-reporting is almost by definition dealing just with euros. The richness of data on each purchase line in an e-invoice or e-receipt is a tremendous resource that should be put to work as soon as possible
- without endangering business secrets. It should not be difficult to understand for any party, that we need to set a deadline for unstructured documents soonest in as many member states as possible. Only then will the needed service providers
and ERP suppliers start to move forward.
6. PSD2 was a seminal steps towards open access to data and GDPR towards both better protection and a legal right to get the RTE- and other data into use in life-event driven service design with AI. MyData.org drives
this as a global movement. At the latest when citizens widely realise this, all sorts of digital services and their suppliers will have to make their moves. Better to start now.