Polish entrepreneurs on the verge of a revolution
The global economy is now in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Thus, Poland too must draw on the benefits of Industry 4.0 and adapt to the realities of digitisation and computerisation. We must create solutions which will help Polish entrepreneurs and develop our own potential.
One such solution is the National Cloud, initiated by the Polish Development Fund and PKO BP. This project will bring a number of advantages to many companies, including access to more processing power and the possibility of secure data storage. In April, the domestic cloud operator started providing services for PKO BP, in September Google Cloud became its strategic partner. Although it is now too early to analyse the project in terms of financial results or the possibility of the Cloud entering the stock exchange, it is undoubtedly a great opportunity for the Polish economy. At present, only 10% of companies in our country use cloud solutions, while in Europe the standard is 50%. According to estimates, in the next few years the developing Polish cloud services market may be worth more than PLN 20 billion.
Poland faces many other challenges in terms of technological development. As the research shows, over half of Polish companies are still not interested in investing in the digitisation of their activities. These concerns are often linked to a lack of knowledge about the implementation of appropriate solutions and their use. As a result, in many areas we are still at the stage of the third industrial revolution and sometimes even the second. The level of production automation can prove this. We are far behind in the rankings of the world's most robotised countries and are ahead of the Czech Republic or Slovakia. We can see the need to educate employers and employees and improve their qualifications. We must also take care to allay concerns about the entry of technology into industry. For example, in the case of Artificial Intelligence. Contrary to many concerns, the development of AI will not pose a threat to society and workers. Although it is a fact that, as automation and AI progress, some professions will be eliminated, more will follow and, despite fears, this will lead to more jobs in the market.
In helping Polish companies to develop, we must fight fears and myths, show the benefits of digitisation, but also increase investment in research and development. South Korea and Israel are the world leaders in this respect, spending more than 4% of GDP on research. However, development expenditure in Poland is only slightly above 1% of GDP. We are at a similar level to Slovakia, and we are giving way to Slovenia, for example, which spends 2.4% of GDP on research. Investment in this area, combined with the implementation of specific projects and effective education, is a path through which Poland can truly implement Industry 4.0, which will benefit us all, entrepreneurs and society as a whole.
The text also appeared in the Harvard Business Review