Frédéric Genta, Country Chief Digital Officer for the Principality of Monaco, is transforming the country into a high-performance smart city. Digital technology is now a significant contributor to Monaco’s attractiveness.
Monaco has its own sovereign cloud. How can optimal utilisation of the cloud be turned into a factor that makes Monaco more attractive?
Today, a sovereign cloud is a major strategic asset for a nation’s economy and sovereignty, and this has been amplified further by the COVID crisis. Many countries are announcing plans for sovereign clouds, but in Monaco it is a tangible reality at a critical moment: the post-COVID recovery phase.
The sovereign cloud offers our businesses three advantages. First, it provides access to the latest IT tools and software. Whether that means HR, accounting or even artificial intelligence solutions, the cloud is vital. With resources and expertise beyond those available to individual companies, the cloud can offer an extremely high level of security. Finally, by pooling facilities and capacity, it is possible to reduce IT costs and space requirements.
In what sense is the digital transition a key contributor to economic growth in Monaco?
We are experiencing an industrial revolution of the kind that comes along every 100 years. This is a radical transformation that is having an impact on value creation mechanisms, work and even our personal lives. Today, Amazon alone has a value greater than the entire CAC 40 index. Monaco must take advantage of this new economy which generates a high level of value added in a limited amount of space.
In the financial sector, digital technology helps to improve investments and customer service, while also reducing costs. By using data storage and the power of digital computing, banks can better define their lending strategies, make better investments, forecast yields and better anticipate their clients’ needs. In addition, artificial intelligence can help dedicated teams to improve performance in terms of KYC, compliance and anti-fraud measures.
How is the Prince’s Government planning to help our businesses take advantage of this economic revolution?
Today, digital transformation is not an IT issue but rather a radical transformation of the country, encompassing all sectors: from microenterprises to the banking sector, from medicine to real estate and from retail to service companies, all are involved in this major transformation of Monaco’s attractiveness.
Our plan for recovery and investment through digital is based on two mechanisms.
The first basic mechanism in this plan is training. This is a key challenge. In the post-COVID world, 50% of current jobs will be gone in 10 years. Some skills now last two years, compared with 30 previously, so it is essential to engage with training on a very regular basis. With assistance from the Monaco Economic Board (MEB) and the Federation of Monegasque Businesses (FEDEM), we have trained more than 2,000 employees in digital technology in under a year. Additionally, 500 employees are receiving training each week via online courses available through the Extended Monaco for Businesses platform. As you can see, this is a social challenge as much as it is an economic one.
The second mechanism is the Blue Fund, to encourage businesses in their digital transformation and offer them financial support. Ten months since it was launched, the results have been incredible. The 300 companies who have already benefited from the Blue Fund will create more than 250 jobs. Above all, for each euro invested by the Blue Fund, companies expect to generate an additional eight euros in revenue. In another benefit for our economy, more than 85% of projects have been entrusted to Monegasque digital businesses.