GeneralHr Library

These are the world’s most digitally advanced countries

Source | www.weforum.org

It is barely 20 years since Sergey Brin and Larry Page registered the domain name google.com, and only 10 years since Steve Jobs walked onto a stage in San Francisco and introduced the iPhone. Yet in this short period, digital technologies have upended our world. We introduced the Digital Evolution Indexin HBR in 2015 to trace the emergence of a “digital planet,” how physical interactions — in communications, social and political exchange, commerce, media and entertainment — are being displaced by digitally mediated ones. We identified many hotspots around the world where these changes are happening rapidly and other spots where momentum has slowed. Two years on, depending on where we live, we continue to move at different speeds toward the digital planet.

Today’s Digital Landscape

While much has changed even since 2015, there are roadblocks on the journey that have remained surprisingly resilient. Consider the five most salient features of today’s digital landscape.

Digital technology is widespread and spreading fast. There are more mobile connections than people on the planet, and more people have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet. Cross-border flows of digitally transmitted data have grown manifold, accounting for more than one-third of the increase in global GDP in 2014, even as the free-flow of goods and services and cross-border capital have ebbed in the aftermath of the 2008 recession. While more people can benefit from access to information and communication, the potential for bad actors to create widespread havoc increases; with every year, the incidents of cyberattacks get bigger and have wider impact.

Digital players wield outsize market power. Based on their stock prices on July 6, 2017, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook were the five most valuable companies in the world. The most valuable non-American company, 7th overall, was China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group. With products that rely on network effects, these players enjoy economies of scale and dominant market share. They have deep resources for innovation with the ability to accelerate the penetration and adoption of digital products.

Digital technologies are poised to change the future of work. Automation, big data, and artificial intelligence enabled by the application of digital technologies could affect 50% of the world economy. There is both anticipation and apprehension about what lies on the other side of the threshold of the “second machine age.” More than 1 billion jobs and $14.6 trillion in wages are automatable by today’s technology, which could open the door to new ways to harness human energy as well as to displacing routine jobs and increasing social inequities.

Digital markets are uneven. Politics, regulations, and levels of economic development play a major role in shaping the digital industry and its market attractiveness. With the world’s largest internet user population – 721 million – China has a parallel digital market because so many of the major global players have no presence there. India, with its 462 million internet users, has a digital economy representing arguably the greatest market potential for global players; however, it operates in multiple languages and multiple infrastructure challenges, despite the government having taken sweeping actions that affect the digital market. The European Union has 412 million internet users, but its market is fragmented; it is still in the process of creating a “digital single market.” In many countries, several websites or digital companies are blocked. Around the world, digital access itself is far from uniform: Barely 50% of the world’s population has access to the internet today.

Read On….

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button