E-Digital: Brazilian Digital Transformation Strategy

por The Winners
Article writer by Francisco Antonio Soeltl, Chairman & CEO – MicroPower E-Digital Evangelist

The Brazilian Digital Transformation Strategy (E-Digital) is the result of an initiative taken by the Federal Government, coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, which includes the active involvement of members of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group responsible for its development.

Throughout the whole process, this formulating unit interacted with a group comprising over 30 Federal Public Administration entities.

E-Digital is extremely important for the generation of employment, improvement in People’s productivity, competitiveness in Business, the generation of an additional US$ 115 billion to Brazil’s GDP, improvement in public services, reduction in the costs of the State, as well as progress in terms of the standing of Brazil within the global economy.

Given this common understanding, the Economic and Public Agents have been working full-time and on a collaborative basis, since 2015, on its conception, formulation, publication and application, as an example of State and not just Government policy.



Under the coordination of the Competitive Brazil Movement (referred to locally as the MBC)(1), 16 Institutions have been working together to contribute to the conception of the Brazil Digital Manifesto(2), with the aim of: “Creating a Brazil in which everyone has the power of Digital Transformation within their reach, leveraging both public and private development.” 

The Brazil Digital Manifesto envisions 27 pillars as the focus of attention, divided into seven Transformation Axes, namely: Digitalization in the Public Sector, Digitalization in the Private Sector, Regulatory and Standards Environment, Digital Workforce, Innovation and Digital Entrepreneurship, Digital Infrastructure and Program Governance.

This Manifesto was personally delivered by the working group to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications and to the Office of the Chief of Staff, in September 2016 and January 2017, respectively, inspiring the creation of E-Digital: Brazilian Digital Transformation Strategy, which was published through Decree no. 9319 of March 21, 2018, by the Presidency of the Republic, whose scope envisioned all 27 pillars on four Transformation axes and five Enabler axes, as we will see below:


E-Digital: Foundations and Structure

Digital technologies are increasingly present in the lives of us all: at home, at work, in schools, in the communications media and in social relations.

For Brazil to be able to benefit from the digital revolution, reaping all the benefits that the information and knowledge society has to offer, the domestic economy must transform itself in a dynamic, competitive and inclusive manner, absorbing digitalization into its processes, values and understanding.

The economy of the future will be digital and must reach out to all Brazilians, providing equality of opportunity in all regions of the country, generating jobs and adding US$ 115 billion(3) to Brazil’s GDP by 2021. In its conception, E-Digital considered the contextualization of the strategic actions in the great international agendas for development.

Among these, we would highlight the Sustainable Development Goals(4) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda. Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 associated targets, one is very specific and possesses indicators relating to Information and Communications Technology(5).

Even so, Digital Transformation may directly or indirectly influence several of the other goals and targets of the SDGs:

Goal 1 – No Poverty: financial inclusion of the poorest, through the combination of mobile terminals with Internet access, mobile payments and new financial instruments in the digital environment.

Goal 2 – Zero Hunger: Internet of Things (IoT), increasing agricultural productivity, reducing losses in the field and in the logistics of transport and distribution.

Goal 3 – Good Health and well-being: use of mobile terminals with access to medical databases enabling the provision of electronic patient records; Internet of Things, with remote monitoring and diagnosis.

Goal 4 – Quality Education: computers with access to digital content, distance learning, teacher training and professional qualification.

Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: expansion of the infrastructure of Internet access, digital entrepreneurship and Internet of Things (IoT).

Goal 13 – Climate Action: networks of sensors linked to terminals with access to the Internet enabling swift action to prevent and mitigate natural disasters.

With the aim of promoting the Digitalization of the Economy and Digital Citizenship, E-Digital is built around five Enabler axes: Infrastructure, R&D + Innovation, Trust, Education and Internationa-lization to operationalize the Digi-talization of the Economy and Digital Citizenship, and four Transformation axes, three of which are intended to support the Digital Economy: Economy based on data, A world of connected devices and New business models, and one to support Digital Citizenship and Government, with a view to the full exercise of citizenship in the digital world and the provision of services to society. Based on a diagnosis of the current situation and the definition of a future vision, 100 strategic actions and their respective in-dicators were defined for these nine axes, with the following distribution.

The full text of the document published to underpin E-Digital may be accessed at the following address: https://institutomicropower. com/biblioteca/

Focus on People:

Considering that the involvement of People is of fundamental importance to the success of the initiatives and projects for Digital Transformation, which is happening exponentially on a global level and resulting in less time to absorb these changes, we would spotlight in this article five of the nine strategic actions of the Enabler axes: Education and Professional Qualification, that we regard as essential:


Education with medium-to-long-term results:

Prioritizing the implementation of skillsets in Elementary Education, associated with Computational Thinking, as defined in the Common Core Curriculum (referred to locally as the BNCC). Extending broadband connectivity into schools, in both urban and rural areas, combining connectivity solutions through fast-access fiber optic cabling, radio and satellite, in schools already served by the terrestrial telecommunications network, and with the structuring of a new high-speed Internet financing model for the public education system.

Prioritizing, within the New Secondary Education model, the consolidation of subjects in the STEM group (science, technology, engineering and math) and the paths to technical training, for working in sectors of the digital economy, bearing in mind the importance of encouraging girls and women to seek careers in ICT-related areas, as well as matching the supply of courses with the demands of businesses.


Professional Training for short-term results:

Fostering greater interaction between the private sector and educational establishments (universities, institutions conducting research and offering professional and technical qualification), in order to incorporate the demands and requirements of the digital companies of the future, by applying concepts such as lifelong learning and vocational education.

Facilitating the acquisition of certificates and recognition by traditional courses, of content acquired in vocational training, whether through partnerships with vocational education establishments and/or businesses or, indeed, other entities. So it is of fundamental importance to focus on the development of People, so that they can be prepared and are able to take advantage of the incredible innovations that are already changing the way we live and relate to each other.

To this end, we will need to rely on those professionals who best understand People: HR professionals who, in order to meet the demands of Industry 4.0, as the current phase of Digital Transformation is popularly referred to across the world, will need to take on the role of Protagonists, alongside the ICT professionals, shoulder to shoulder, side by side, to support the challenges being laid at the doors of their CEOs, through the increasingly marked competitiveness in both the local and global markets.


HR 5.0 – Protagonists in Digital Transformation

In March 2018, with the aim of educating and preparing HR Professionals and contributing to the implementation of E-Digital, the MicroPower institute for Digital Transformation, with the assistance of the Brazilian Association of Human Resources (ABRH) and the Competitive Brazil Movement (MBC), initiated the tactical project entitled HR 5.0 – Protagonists in Digital Transformation, since in Industry 4.0, HR will need to be at the cutting-edge, anticipating demand, supporting the readiness of People with their development for the professions of the future.

One of this project’s deliverables is the initial version of the Minimum Viable Product of the Individual Development Plan (IDP) of HR 5.0, with six new Skills and Responsibilities:

Agile Mindset: Digital Transformation is much more than the simple digitalization of processes; it is a new concept of society, a new organizational model, a new concept in management, characterized by a new mentality: the Agile Mindset. The habitual difficulty in transforming new behaviors and beliefs is compounded by the exponential speed of Digital Transformation, for which, today, few of us are yet ready.

The best way to empower the HR Head is through the occurrence and recurrence of Agile experiences, by applying his/her tools and methodologies on an everyday basis: Design Thinking, Design Sprint, Scrum, Squads, Tribes, Kanban, Canvas, among others. These experiences will gradually refine People’s mental model, reformulating the existing Management model and Culture.


Change Management

With Digital Transformation, we are all experiencing a huge change at exponential speeds, caused by the simultaneous application of two or more disruptive, current technologies and, in this sense, it is essential that People are receptive to absorbing its applications, as these changes will invariably take them beyond their comfort zones.

To this end, we have to take change on board and make it more enduring, focusing on three main actions: Communication, Engagement and Qualification.


Conflict Management:

Any change will breed discomfort and throw our expectations out of alignment and, if not adequately handled by the leaders in their relations with subordinates, or even by People in their personal and social relations, this will generate conflict.

To be ready to anticipate and deal with these potential conflicts is one of the responsibilities and skills that HR 5.0 will need to acquire and pass on to everyone in their institutions, thereby building a collaborative, dependable environment.


Guardian of the Organizational Culture:

By applying Agile Mindset, Digital Transformation will bring about some fine-tuning to the Organizational Cul- ture. These adjustments will be more easily applied as long as the HR Professionals are aware of and ready to communicate the need for their implementation and benefits, for the People and for Businesses.


Environment conducive to Self-Development:

The implementation of an environment that is conducive to SelfDevelopment is a factor for success in Organizations that are in the process of implementing the Digital Transformation of Business Processes or Models, as the actions of Learning and Performance will, in 90% of cases, take place experientially in the informal working environment and, in this sense, HR 5.0 must exercise its Protagonism, engaging the Leaders to optimize the sharing and retention of Knowledge.


Social Referral Contracts:

Finding occupations for People that have lost their jobs, due to Digital Transformation, will be one of the most important activities of HR 5.0, thereby guaranteeing them the minimum conditions for a dignified life.


E-Digital reflects the broad involvement of the production sector, the scie- ntific and academic community and civil society, at various stages of the work. There was significant par- ticipation in seminars and workshops during the process of formulating the Strategy and also in the Public Consultation of the draft document, which resulted in thousands of accesses and contributions, its aim being to: “Harness the full potential of digital technologies, in order to increase productivity, competitiveness and income and employment levels throughout the country, building a free, just and prosperous society for all.”



(1) Since 2001, the Competitive Brazil Movement has been reaching out to the public and private sectors, investing in the culture of governance and promoting the management of excellence, with the aim of expanding domestic competitivity, increasing the investment capacity of the State, improving essential public services offered to the Brazilian people.

(2) http://www.mbc.org.br/portal/brasil-digital/

(3) A recent study (3) indicates that the digital economy represented around 22% of Brazil’s GDP in 2016, and could reach 25.1% of GDP by 2021, suggesting that an optimized digital strategy could lead to a 5.7% increase (equivalent to US$ 115 billion) in GDP for a given year. Another study (4) shows that, in the next few years, the global digital economy should grow at a rate 2.5 times higher than the growth in the global economy in general. This global digital economy should amount to US$ 23 trillion by 2025.

(4) See https://nacoesunidas.org/conheca-os-novos-17-objetivosde-desenvolvimento-sustentavel-da-onu/. Accessed on September 29, 2017.

(5) This relates to Goal 9, target 9c: “Significantly increase access to Information and Communications Technology and strive to provide universal Internet access at affordable prices in the least developed countries, by 2022”.

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