Who is Winning in Digital Economy – Can You Guess?
Which countries are winning, and which are losing, as the digital ecomomy powers ahead. The Digital Evolution Index (DEI) and the Digital Planet Report are the culmination of six years of data that illuminate the unique trajectories of 50 countries as they usher their citizens and economies into the digital future. The report has many rich insights on the regenerative capacities of countries, governments, consumers and businesses as they dust themselves off and prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly digitizing world. It's premise is the following: The Internet has come of Age: The next billion Internet users, logging on in an era of near-universal mobile connectivity, offer promise of greater economic growth and increased business opportunities.
The next billion will be different: The current 3 billion started off primarily as Internet users, surfing and emailing, before they became consumers of digital marketplaces. The next billion, already mobile customers used to interacting and transacting — downloading ringtones, content, etc., — in a mobile ecosystem on their feature phones, will start off not as mere users, but rather as e-consumers: Internet-enabled mobile devices will vastly expand their access to downloadable content; buying and selling goods and services through a mobile phone is a logical next step.
Investor interest is driving competitive activity and innovation in digital marketplaces: In anticipation of universal mobile Internet access, institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds are pouring money into e-commerce ecosystems and digital marketplaces in the emerging world.
Understanding the many forces that drive digital evolution will help in designing regulatory policies, steering innovation and allocating resources. The report categorises countries as follows:
- Stand Out countries have shown high levels of digital development in the past and continue to remain on an upward trajectory.
- Stall Out countries have achieved a high level of evolution in the past but are losing momentum and risk falling behind.
- Break Out countries have the potential to develop strong digital economies. Though their overall score is still low, they are moving upward and are poised to become Stand Out countries in the future.
- Watch Out countries face significant opportunities and challenges, with low scores on both current level and upward motion of their DEI. Some may be able to overcome limitations with clever innovations and stopgap measures, while others seem to be stuck.
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