A lot of time and effort has been spent on automating manufacturing and logistics in large companies. Less has been spent on their administrative processes. Automation of SME administration and government reporting still appears as virgin territory.
As the SME sector stand for some 65% of corporate turnover and is the one that will employ more when large enterprises both cut and offshore it should be obvious that now is the time to standardize, digitalize, automate and harmonize x-EU.
Needless to say that no country can afford the present low productivity in the public sector either and that also the EU red tape initiative should be given full attention. Any new reporting requirement should be critically assessed and if found to be important enough it should be digital and EU-harmonised from the outset. Reusing existing tools should be the norm (bank credentials for strong e-id and contract signing, e-invoicing to curb the grey economy etc).
Only by getting the banking system involved - starting from building the 4-corner e-invoicing and payment automation as a platform - can the at least 350bn productity improvement be achieved fast and cost efficiently. Payback time for banks.