In an increasingly complex world, innovation is accelerating. Data is multiplying but escaping us. Social networks are places of interaction but reflect our fractures. Algorithms change the world but inspire mistrust. Technologies improve our lives but their lightning progress raises fundamental questions. Digital governance no longer relies solely on States. And it is accompanied by new imbalances.
So how can we regain control? How can we re-enchant technologies to restore confidence? What kind of governance for innovation and digital technology in the future?
The State no longer has a monopoly on sovereignty
The current crisis has shown that a resilient economy depends on a powerful and integrated production system. States have understood this well: the notion of independence takes on its full meaning when shortages of basic necessities appear. This independence always has two faces: economic and technological.
But this reality, for the first time, is no longer reserved for states. The emergence of “digital giants” and then of new non-state actors (companies, NGOs, etc.) was already upsetting the deal that had been anchored in customs since the Treaty of Westphalia. But today, more than ever and in an increasingly obvious way, sovereignty is no longer the exclusive domain of States!
Yes, economic and technological independence now concerns all companies and organizations. If it had to be demonstrated, all these structures are equal prey to cyber attacks. And all of them must integrate the new technological situation into their strategies
Towards a New Tech deal
In the global race that is being played out, all organizations (both public and private) must therefore integrate that technological mastery is the key to tomorrow’s power. This is the new technological deal: the horizontalization of players has led to an equal sharing of responsibilities in terms of appropriating new technologies. With different roles: public actors are now responsible for the collective appropriation of technological issues, while private actors are condemned to innovate and integrate new technologies to survive. One thing is certain, public and private players alike: it is urgent that they all integrate the subject of technological sovereignty.
But what does this mean? It’s not just a matter of digitizing your business: it’s no longer just about technology, as it was at the end of the last century, but about the right technology. All organizations, public or private, must infuse meaning and heart into their technological vision to better appropriate their realities and above all better ensure their development. Because yes, modern and innovative companies are and will be technological. And it is clear that technology covers social, reputational and strategic realities that forge their identity and must be understood under the prism of a true sovereignty.
Companies and organizations no longer have a choice: they must take back control by not only setting technical objectives, but also strategies coupled with ethics. At a time of Pegasus, Wikileaks and the resurgence of both cyber risks and laws governing the use of technology (RGPD, etc.), risk-taking is no longer allowed. It is better to bet on a technological re-enchantment than to risk the nightmare of losing control.
Towards a technological responsibility of companies
Technological sovereignty is the linchpin of the new world order that is taking shape. But the difficulty lies in understanding what is at stake: it would be too easy to turn to engineers and technicians and consider that the subject is primarily technical. But in reality, it is first and foremost strategic: tomorrow’s managers can no longer leave these issues to engineers; they must understand them while getting help, mastering them and making them their own.
The stakes are all the higher because tomorrow, technological sovereignty will be everyone’s business, even if today’s citizens are not yet fully aware of it. And if CSR has become so essential because industry has to be greener and greener, it is logical that companies are quickly forced to integrate the logic of technological sovereignty into their business model in view of the vital importance of these issues. Tomorrow’s technological governance is being created today: let’s be one step ahead by making technological sovereignty one of the major causes of the years to come!