The global health crisis we are facing, among other numerous problems, has brought to light another issue: the problem of digital illiteracy. An occasion to analyse the matter was provided by the “Report on the digital transformation in Italy” (Rapporto sulla trasformazione digitale dell’Italia) by Censis in collaboration with TIM Study Center (Telecom Italia Mobile) and published by newspapers on Tuesday, 1 December presenting the photo of Italian digital skill.
The graphic image that the study included was the figure of Janus, an ancient Italian and Roman divinity.
It was the first Roman deity that, according to classic mythology, reached Rome through the sea from
Thessalia. As one of the main divinities of the Pantheon, Janus was perceived as enormously important within the ancient Roman religion and society as the god and protector of new beginnings, transitions and endings.
Coming back to the study, if on the one hand, we can count on the infrastructure reflecting the
average European standards in terms of coverage and connectivity, on the other hand, the figures on
digital abilities place us quite at the bottom within the European ranking. Only 74% of the population use internet and 17% do not know what internet is. Italy is travelling at two different velocities: the center and the north reflect the European standards while the centersouth is limping. Another difference concerns big cities and small towns. The latter ones face more difficulties comparing to the high performance of big cities.
The problem is under the very eyes of everybody as there is a strict connection between digital skills, technological progress and an economic growth. We can observe it every day in our sector: washing machines as well as the ironing units are almost all provided with a touch screen. It enables not only to easily operate the machine but also to receive reports and communications from the producers or any essential information in regard to the machines’ functionality, efficiency and durability. The digital functionality ranges from aspects like laundry logistics to textile production including the production of green and eco-compatible chemical products.
Surely, the lockdown had partly allowed us to reduce the existing gap with other countries because during the isolation months, we became a little more digital oriented having to work and study from remote. Still, according to the European Commission that carried out the analysis on the digital economy in the 28 EU countries, Italy obtained one of the lowest rankings: the worrying 25th position.
What we need is a push, some more gasoline into the digital engine so that we can develop a new, digital human capital.
Digital skill means competitive advantage and the conquer of new markets.
Best wishes for Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

Marzio Nava
Detergo Magazine December 2020