Covid pandemic has called for a faster transition towards the digitalization of services and data as key factor to manage societal needs, sustain economic growth, develop local communities, balance inequalities. The digital transformation is ignited by the creation and use of scientific hubs and infrastructures dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI), High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data. Digital infrastructures are developed by establishing key collaborations between public institutions and private enterprises. The goal is to create state of the art, world class national modern hubs under a coordinated strategic perspective. South Africa and Italy are currently moving along this direction.