Analysis of the influence of digitalization processes on regions’ economic development

Regional and branch economy

Digitalization is now seen as a leading factor in economic development. At the same time, the dynamic development of information infrastructure in the regions, the increase in access to broadband Internet for the population and business are not accompanied by adequate changes in the indicators of economic growth. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the impact of digitalization processes on the social and economic development of the regions and to identify factors that prevent the receipt of digital dividends. The scientific literature focuses on the essence of digitalization, its industry-specific aspects, as well as the factors and problems of the digital transformation of the economy. At the same time, much less attention is paid to the effectiveness of digitalization in terms of improving the dynamics of socio-economic processes. Most authors note the significant impact of digitalization on regional development, however, the studies revealed that there is no significant relationship between the level of digitalization of enterprises in the region and the dynamics of its socio-economic development. This situation is due, first of all, to the low level of investment and innovation activity of enterprises in the regions, as well as to the insufficient use of digital business models. The information infrastructure in the regions was developing at high rate against the background of actual stagnation of the economy and, as a result, high risks of investing in real assets. Thus, for the period of 2011–2017, the index of physical volume of investments in fixed assets in the whole of the Russian Federation amounted to only 98.9%. The main indicator of innovation activity – the share of organizations implementing technological innovations – even among the leaders of innovation activity in the Northwestern Federal District, St. Petersburg, in 2017 amounted to 14.5%, which is several times less than in most countries of the European Union. In other regions of the Northwestern Federal District, the indicator was below 10%. Thus, to realize the possibilities of digitalization, priority should be given to digital business transformation based on improving the business climate and increasing the level of investment and innovation activity.