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Digitalization may help efficiency, avoid decelerating growth

Improving efficiency via digitalization may offset negative factors such as the drying up of EU funding, and may prevent a significant decline in GDP growth in Hungary, András Somkuti, president of the Docler Group and CEO of e-signature specialist Netlock, says in a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

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"A number of factors affect GDP growth, but factors such as state expenses, company developments, exports, domestic consumption, and employment are especially significant," says Somkuti. "The experiences of the near past show that these factors face certain limitations."

Somkuti notes that dwindling EU funds may harm the investment ability of both the state and the competitive sector, and that the export capabilities of Hungarian companies depend on production efficiency.

"This means that one of the pillars of Hungarian GDP growth is the production efficiency of companies, yet Hungarian companies have been stagnating for years in efficiency," he observes. "Accelerating the digital evolution may bring improvements in both the state and competitive spheres... Furthermore, technologies based on e-signatures play a key role in digital transformation."

While most only think about paperless offices, sustainability, and green thoughts, e-signatures mean more today, according to the press release. Transporting a serious amount of paper means extra expenses in the range of millions of forints, even in the case of medium-sized enterprises. Today, a huge number of documents such as invoices, certificates, contracts, or even medical findings, may be transferred into the digital world via e-signatures.

"As I see it, there is no other way for companies and the public administration than moving paper-based processes into the digital space," Somkuti asserts. "The oft-mentioned GDPR [the EUʼs General Data Protection Regulation] is a typical measure affecting every organizationʼs operation that can be complied with a lot more easily, cheaply, and efficiently if data management occurs in the digital space rather than on paper."

While a few years ago one needed special tools, such as chip cards, card readers connected to computers, and specific software, signing electronically is simpler today. There are methods that are independent of platforms, and hence accessible via smartphones, tablets, and computers alike, says the Netlock CEO. 

"We see that this comfortable and flexible solution is received increasingly keenly by users, but companies, service providers, and the state itself must provide e-procedures in as many places as possible," he emphasizes. "Receptiveness to this is constantly improving. The next few years may become a period of a ‘digital leap,’ when the digital evolution accelerates in a number of areas, both in the competitive and the state sphere. There are many signs pointing to this, we are feeling the recent upturn in the market. In the case of digital transformation, we can see the start of the tunnel."