Three Year Plan: The Road to Digital Transformation of the Country

Go to the profile of Diego Piacentini
Jun 14, 2017
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Questo articolo è disponibile anche in italiano

At the end of , Emmett Doc Brown drags Marty McFly into a new adventure, removing all Marty’s fears of the unknown with a single phrase: “Roads? Where we are going, we don’t need roads.” This is the same spirit we feel upon us today, the day of the publication of the Three Year Plan for the Digital Transformation of the Italian Public Administration.

Actually, its official name is The Three .A name from the nineties – though, fortunately, the majority of its contents are not.

Obviously, we still have a long way to go, but we will do it together, united with all the components of the Public Administration.

Three Year Plan for the Digital Transformation of the Public Administration 2017–2019

Today is the day that the will be published. It’s a strategic document that guides and supports the entire Public Administration in an organic and coherent process of digital transformation. It is also in line with the majority of the objectives of the new European eGovernment Action Plan 2016–2020.

What is the Three Year Plan for?

The Three Year Plan, written by AgID – Italian Digital Agency – in collaboration with the Digital Transformation Team, is the official document used to plan investments in technology in a structured way and to set forth a strategic vision for the three-year period of 2017–2019.

The Plan has been approved by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and has been signed by the President himself in recognition of the importance of the digital transformation of the Country.

The Plan’s objective is to guide and support the Public Administration in implementing the technological vision of the operating system for the Country. It sets the foundation for the construction of a number of key components upon which public administrations can deliver simpler and more effective services for citizens and businesses by adopting flexible methods, a mobile first approach, architectures that are secureinteroperablescalable, highly reliable, and based on clearly defined application programming interfaces (APIs). Open source and collaboration have become the new paradigm.

Digital transformation requires skills, investments, time, dedication and perseverance. And, above all, the willingness of all parties involved to encourage and not hinder the transformation itself.

And this is just the first step of a long-term dynamic path.

Although we recommend that all public managers read the document, it has specifically been written for the technology administrators of the Public Administration – Municipalities, Regions, Ministries and all national and local authorities – to serve as a guide to the process of digital transformation. We have worked with AgID to make the plan a strategic guide as well as a support that is simple, useful and continuously evolving.

In fact, the Three Year Plan will be updated in September of each year.

Let’s imagine, for example, the Chief Technology Officer – CTO – of the City of ____________ (insert the name of your own Municipality), wrestling with the digital transformation of his city’s services: the CTO finds himself having to choose the languages, the platforms, the databases and the infrastructural aspects necessary to guarantee security, flexibility and scalability; by consulting the Three Year Plan and its guidelines, he/she will find the relevant instructions.

For example, the CTO will have to make choices regarding the Municipality’s small and most likely poorly secured data center, assessing a migration to the cloud or to national data centers identified by AgID, which, because of their size, can guarantee a high degree of security and reliability at lower cost to the administration.

If the services require citizen identification, the CTO – by consulting the plan and its guidelines – will learn how to integrate the SPID digital identity and will be able to use the Software Development Kit (SDK), the technical documentation and the testing environment available on developers.italia.it, to reduce costs and development times and ensure that everything works properly.

If services require payments, the CTO will be able to easily connect payment service providers through the enabling platform, PagoPA, and the specific SDKs. In the case of migration to ANPR, the National Resident Population Register, he/she will be able to receive support from the Digital Transformation Team.

Thanks to the guidelines and the design and development kits, the CTO will also be able to set fonts, layouts, buttons, graphics, and brand and service identities that are consistent with those of all other administrations.

And, once they’re available, he’ll also be able to find instructions and guidelines on how to expose specific APIs for his own service so as to safely allow additional integrations from the developer community.

As a result, the CTO will have more time available to focus on the activities that matter the most to citizens.

Furthermore, the availability of all these tools facilitates the writing of procurement specifications because a large part of their requirements, not only those relating to compliance with standards, but also those regarding user interface, security, consistency with the overall architecture, are now consistent and ready-made for everyone.

In other words, we expect the Plan and its relative guidelines, which will gradually be released, to support the choices administrators will have to make and the investments that will need to be put into effect in order to initiate a digital transformation in line with the technological vision of the operating system of the Country.

We have introduced a new method of interaction

technology plan is not static: the nature of technology is constantly evolving and over time, innovation changes paradigms.

While the Plan’s strategic application will not change over this three-year period, the specific technological and process indications will be able to – and will have to –

But how to incorporate these variations into the Plan every September while also taking into account the suggestions of those who experience the daily functionality and problems of the Digital Transformation?

We have, therefore, decided to publish the Plan using collaborative tools that allow the administration to ask for clarification or propose changes without intermediaries.

These tools will be accompanied by processes of moderation, review and consultation that will be continuously improved upon with the objective of providing quick and clear answers. We will not, however, abandon the classic methods of interaction: we will also organize meetings with the Administrations and the technology vendors that make up the Public Administration ecosystem to explain the Plan and receive feedback and suggestions.

We are introducing a completely new approach to participation because in order to reach the goal of digitally transforming the services of the Public Administration, we will have to work in a collaborative manner.

We are aware that this change of approach is not easy to implement and will take time to be effective.

here’s how it works

By clicking on the GitHub link you will be able to explore each chapter and section of the Three Year Plan as a text file. You will be able to propose modifications to parts of the text or integrations by opening pull requests that will then be evaluated by the Three Year Plan’s maintainers – members of AgID and the Digital Transformation Team – who will provide the Public Administrations with constant support. You will be able to ask for clarifications regarding particular sections by opening specific issues that will be directly dealt with by the maintainers.

We have also created Forum, the forum for discussing public services, designed to ensure that specific topics are handled and shared directly within a community environment, and Docs, the new public document management system that collects the Three Year Plan documentation and makes it available on any device. Accepted suggestions will be incorporated into the next version of the Plan.

In short, a small revolution in the way we interact with the Public Administration.

If you are interested in reading the text, this is the site of the Three Year Plan (the plan was translated in English by Artificial Intelligence, read it) where you will also find all the collaborative tools to interact with it. Happy reading!


(1) GitHub is a technology platform used to share text and source files. It provides a dedicated support service and implements two features that are very important and useful for sharing the Three Year Plan:

  1. issue: the “open” function of an issue, accessible within the tab “issue” of each GitHub section dedicated to a part of a chapter of the Three Year Plan. It’s a green button on the top and to the right of “New Issue” and lets you isolate a specific discussion item in order to initiate a thorough discussion and assessment;
  2. pull request: the “pull request,” accessible through the pen-shaped icon in the GitHub header within each chapter or section of the Plan, is a feature that allows users to propose suggestions and modifications to parts of the text of the Plan itself.

Read the Docs is a platform for sharing html text documents, organized according to a classic division by chapter and section as well as a sliding side index of the chapters themselves, allowing you to gain fluid access to the document on any device and featuring an easy search function. Read the Docs was used to create Docs, the new system for managing public documents.

Discourse is a collaborative tool used by the developer community as a discussion forum, chat, and mailing list. Discourse was used to create Forum – the public service discussion forum, designed to provide support to administrations.

Go to the profile of Diego Piacentini

Diego Piacentini

Commissioner for Digital Transformation Italian Government , Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

General Manager Apple Europe (1987-1999) Sr VP International Consumer Business Amazon.com (2000-2016)

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