Sergei Sobyanin: Moscow’s digital technologies are people-oriented

Sergei Sobyanin: Moscow’s digital technologies are people-oriented
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
The Mayor of the city of Moscow has received the Digital Summit Award in the Digital Region category. The award organisers noted that Moscow was ranked at the top of the world’s smart cities.

The city is developing its infrastructure to the benefit of Muscovites and businesses. The digital technology sector brings some 600 billion roubles into the Moscow budget annually, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at the panel discussion held during the finals of the Digital Summit Award competition.

“The city boasts one of the cheapest and fastest internet connections in the world and probably the most extensive free Wi-Fi coverage. In implementing its projects, business has been making use of the huge datasets provided by the Moscow Government. The digital technology sector – that includes many companies in Moscow - employs a total of about 300,000 people. In my estimation, the sector contributes about 600 billion roubles to the city’s economy. This sector cannot thrive in a non-people-friendly city,” noted Sergei Sobyanin.

The Mayor received the Digital Summit Award in the Digital Region category. The award organisers noted that Moscow was ranked at the top of the world’s smart cities. “I am happy that we lead both the world and Europe,” Sergei Sobyanin said.  

According to the Mayor, it is not only IT structure but also a liveable urban infrastructure that is important as a prerequisite for advancing new technologies, including the IT sector.

“In today’s world, information technology is not just a trend but a way of life that we can’t imagine ourselves without, and so to be seen and noticed and to be able to work, we need to engage in information technologies,” Sergei Sobyanin pointed out.

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According to Russian Federal Taxation Service Head Mikhail Mishustin, data is coming to the fore in the digital world. “It is the gold of the 21st century. Today, data is a major asset that we need to be able to take advantage of,” he explained.

Modern information technologies must be consumer-oriented. “I would dispute the question of a certain depersonalising effect of computer technologies that purportedly move in one direction and beneath which you cannot see a real person. In my view, it is the opposite. All technologies, including IT, prioritise the consumer. Through big data and information technologies any company seeking to render services to an individual has far more information about the potential client than before the digital revolution,” the Mayor said.

According to Sergei Sobyanin, the world of things has been getting personalised. “We are not moving away from the individual but, on the contrary, are starting to see the individual − their needs, personality traits and interests as well as where they live and how they travel. The world is revolving around the individual more and more, which is the big advantage of digitalisation and information technologies,” the Mayor said. 

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It is impossible to imagine life in a megacity like Moscow without digital technologies. “Imagine if it didn’t exist – the lights have gone out, the TV doesn’t work, the metro and airport services are not operating, and lots more. Life would stop. You ask how much information technologies merge with real life – the answer is that they fully merge. This has not reached a peak yet, but we cannot exist technologically without them,” Sergei Sobyanin added.

The Digital Summit is the first national IT award promoting leading domestic solutions. The competition involves Russian developers of IT tools for enhancing the efficiency of business and government agencies as well as personal efficiency.