It was really nice today to meet the members of CIONET again
– IT leaders from businesses around Europe, showing what new technology and systems can do for businesses.
I'd asked them to give me evidence about what the "digital agenda" means for them: like what fast broadband can do for their business. And the report they have compiled with INSEAD is great reading
. It shows the positive difference of fast connections. And the great things they can do to boost their business if they do have consistently fast broadband – like get all those great cloud benefits.
They also let me know some of the things we could do to help out Europe's businesses – like promoting open competitive telecoms markets
, and cutting excessive data roaming charges. I'm committed to delivering both of those - despite pressure from certain parts of the telecoms sector to actually reduce levels of competition.
And we got to discuss the common challenges facing us – on the one hand as policymakers in the Commission, on the other as those responsible for managing huge IT systems in the private sector. In particular I highlighted to them the huge opportunities of ICT employment
in the year to come. And it's clear that CIOs are already aware of these issues – in particular that increasing outsourcing means they are not always able to train ICT staff for the long term.
So I invited them to join me in a grand coalition for ICT jobs
. I am glad they agreed with me that this would be a win-win. On the one hand, doing justice to today's young people by providing them with the tools to access future opportunities; on the other, ensuring businesses will get the human resources they are going to need for sure in the future.
Plus I was there to reward some of the most successful CIOs
– people who've shown what ICT can deliver for big businesses. Well done to all of them! You can see more about the event – and the awards here
; and the INSEAD study on the business benefits of broadband here