Emerging markets struggle to realize full digital potential

25 April 2014

Xinhua, New York :
Large emerging economies haven't made decisive progress in realizing their potential in information and communications technologies, according to a report released here Wednesday by the World Economic Forum.
The Forum presented its Global Information Technology Report 2014, which measures the capacity of 148 economies to leverage information and communications technologies for growth and well-being with the Networked Readiness Index (NRI).
The report, under the theme of Rewards and Risks of Big Data, finds consistency at the top end of the rankings of the NRI this year, with Finland and Singapore ranking first and second, while the United States climbing up to the seventh.
On the other hand, many large emerging economies continue to struggle to realize their full potential, with China, Brazil and India ranking 62th, 69th and 83th respectively.
The NRI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources and the results of a survey of more than 15,000 executives around the world.
Among the key findings, the report shows countries cannot only rely on information and communications technologies infrastructure development; rather, the benefits can only be fully derived when a country implements a holistic strategy aimed at creating conditions for skills, innovation and entrepreneurship.
"In addition to the persistent digital divide across countries, governments should also be wary of understanding, identifying and addressing potential internal digital divides so that new opportunities can be created for all and support enhanced social inclusion," said Benat Bilbao-Osorio, co-editor of the report and senior economist at the World Economic Forum.
Moreover, experts from partner organizations to produce the report agree that countries and companies need to understand where they stand in terms of a Big Data maturity, assess their progress, and determine what they need to do to extract greater benefits from the vast volume of data.
The World Economic Forum, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international institution which engages political, business, academic and other leaders of society in an effort to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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