The announcement comes straight from Sundar Pinchai, Google CEO: “Google is proud to be a partner in Italy’s economic recovery. We’re investing more than $900M over 5 years to help transform Italian businesses large and small, including the launch of two Google Cloud regions in partnership with TIM.” A strong vote of confidence for the Italian economy from one of the biggest companies of the planet.
With this huge investment, Google aims at accelerating the country’s digital transformation, a crucial endeavour in the wake of the global pandemic, and the Italian government efforts to relaunch the economy. The new plan will be called Italia in Digitale and will offer Google’s expertise to businesses and job seekers. A series of tools, training, and partnerships will help more than 700,000 SMBs and individuals digitize and, by the end of 2021, the plan aims at bringing this number to more than one million. Goggle is not a stranger to such projects, as the success of past initiatives like Crescere in Digitale and Google Digital Training can attest. These two helped half a billion people get the essential digital skills to grow their careers and businesses.
It should be noted that, if the main plan is going to last five years in total, Google is immediately committing a grant of one million to Unioncamere. This sum is going to aid currently underserved SMEs’ digital transformation. Italian Chambers of Commerce will be able to provide specific training and coaching to small companies starting from those sectors of the economy that were hit most heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic thus preserving or creating jobs for the Italian people.
Fabio Vaccarono, Managing Director, Google Italy underlined Google commitment to the Italian market. “Google has invested in Italy for several years to provide free digital skills training and accelerate the country’s digital transformation. Building on this strategy, we’re announcing Italia in Digitale, new tools and investments to help people and small businesses learn new skills, transform their operating models, and recover from the crisis. Technology was important before the pandemic and it is even more essential today. Digitalization must now be a top priority for everyone to bring back growth to Italy.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed his satisfaction in a tweet commenting on the announcement: “I welcome this important investment in Italy by Google and Sundar Pichai. Technology and digital innovation are central elements of my Government agenda for the future of our Country. Let’s keep it up!” Google also cooperated closely with Rome’s government during the height of the crisis, providing crucial data to the Ministry of Health to fight the pandemic and, thanks to a partnership with the Ministry of Education, allowing millions of Italian students to keep up with their studies using free distance learning tools.
Relaunching the Italian economy will depend on small businesses’ ability to survive and thrive. Having such a powerful ally is going to help greatly, and it shows that Italy is most certainly a country in which to invest, now and in the future.