Despite the pandemic, the Italian digital market held up better than expected and suffered a loss of just 0.6% in 2020 and now looks to 2021 with growth estimates of 3.5%. According to the latest analysis by Anitec-Assinform, which anticipates the traditional annual report for next July, last year the Italian digital market recorded a slight decline (-0.6%) reaching 71.5 billion euros (71.504 million ), with a less dramatic trend than in other sectors and clearly better than the expectations formulated last November, when a more marked decline (-2%) was forecast. “The digital market closed 2020 better than expected, almost flat, in a context of generalized decline in the entire economy caused by the health emergency” commented Marco Gay, president of Anitec-Assinform, the Confindustria Association that groups the main ICT companies, to the first results of the annual analysis on the digital trend in Italy, conducted in collaboration with NetConsulting cube. Gay also points out that “the last quarter of 2020 also hinted at the beginning of a gradual recovery that we expect in 2021”. According to the findings of Anitec-Assinform – founding member of the Confindustria Digitale Federation – for all sectors the data at the end of the year turned out to be better than expected, with the exception of network services, due to the pressure on tariffs. “The restart will only be possible with a reconstruction policy based on investment in manufacturing and service excellence, capable of creating value through digital, both in the private and public sector. It is not enough to have digital technology. To guarantee the restart. we must also and above all ‘know how to create value through digital’ “. Gay clarifies that “value can be created at all levels: with a better quality of old and new goods and services, with the de-bureaucratization of administrative processes, with the adaptation or rethinking of legislation – created for the physical world and not for online- and increasing sustainability and ensuring greater social inclusion “. “Digital does not only concern technologies and interoperability – absolutely necessary, but not sufficient – but also the culture and skills of those who do it, those who manage it and those who use it. For this reason – Marco Gay argues again – digital must be able to plan, choose, use and optimize, making it become our normality, not only technological but also cultural, with all its limitations and challenges, but also with all its great benefits “. Tornado to Anitec-Assinform’s analysis, the progression was clear, albeit lower than that of 2019, for ICT Services (12,702 million, + 3.3%) and Devices and Systems (19,368 million, + 1.3%) . Also for Digital Contents and Digital Advertising (12,623 million, + 4.4%) the trend was very positive compared to the general dynamics. In addition to network services (19,294 million, -6.9%), also Software and ICT Solutions (7,517 million, -2.3%) were down. The most innovative components, or Digital Enablers, have confirmed their driving role also in 2020, above all, or the components used most widely for Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Blockchain, Cyber security, Web management platforms and emergency management : from remote collaborative work to telemedicine, from remote teaching to logistics and online shopping. Overall, they have grown at double-digit rates and have seen their share of the entire digital market increase from 19.5% in 2019 to 21% in 2020. “These dynamics confirm the centrality of digital technologies in the year of the emergency. health and economics. But today it is not enough to be satisfied with the digital capacity to provide solutions in a difficult moment. We must make it the real cornerstone of the restart: generator and propagator of widespread innovation “underlines Marco Gay. “The agenda, the investment priorities and the financing are there, now we need to give concrete execution to the interventions, with competence and guaranteeing rapid times” adds Gay. Anitec-Assinform estimates that for 2021 both the evolution and control of the current emergency and the increase in confidence in the overall economic climate suggest a market recovery, with an expected growth of 3.5% and dynamics improving in all sub-funds and Digital Enabler. With the exception of network services, which are decreasing but to a lesser extent, the components associated with an increasingly accentuated digitization and automation of collaborative processes at different levels – from schools to healthcare, to citizen services will continue to grow at double-digit rates. up to e-commerce – and solutions for the digitization of supply chains, a process that had slowed down its run in 2020. Among the fastest growing Digital Enablers, we will have Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud, Big Data, Cybersecurity, Platforms for Web management. These dynamics refer only to physiological growth, to which will be added the further increase in digital investments that will be financed by the PNRR and for which the year-by-year planning has not yet been made public.