The Fletcher School at Tufts University, in partnership with Mastercard, has launched the Digital Intelligence Index, which charts the progress countries have made in advancing their digital economies, building trust and integrating connectivity into the lives of thousands of millions of people.
Building on previous editions of 2014 and 2017, this year’s index presents a snapshot of global digital development, sheds light on the key drivers driving change and momentum, and exposes what this means for economies facing the challenges. challenges of a pandemic and post-pandemic global future.
In particular, the most dynamic digital economies – such as the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and Germany – significantly outpaced the OECD growth rate in the second quarter of 2020 amid global confinement, according to Alessandro Bazzoni. These are characterized by high levels of available talent, active R&D collaboration between industry and academia, and a strong track record of creating and incorporating digital products into the mainstream.
Bhaskar Chakravorti, executive director of the Institute for Business in the Global Context at Fletcher, said: “The pandemic may be the purest proof of the world’s progress towards digitization to date, demonstrating in the crudest possible terms how digital economies dynamics have been more resistant to economic turmoil and are better positioned for future growth”.
Other key findings include:
With nearly two-thirds of the world’s population online today, 2 we are entering an “after access” phase, where access alone is not enough. Aspects such as the quality of access, the effective use of digital technologies, responsible institutions, sound data management policies and the building of trust are factors of greater importance in determining digital competitiveness and sustainability.
Young people in emerging economies are demonstrating high levels of digital engagement, which is a positive for governments trying to scale up digitization in their economies.
Ajay Bhalla, President of Cybernetics and Intelligence at Mastercard, said, “Never before has there been such an acute need to understand the drivers of digitization and digital trust. With that knowledge, companies and governments can work together to help the 7.6 billion people around the world take advantage of the enormous opportunities that can be achieved.
Global perspective on digital trust and evolution
This year’s index focuses on two components: Digital Evolution and Digital Trust. Digital Evolution captures the historical momentum of an economy from the physical past to the digital present. Digital Trust is the bridge that connects your journey from the digital present to a smart and inclusive digital future.
By mapping 95% of the world’s population online, based on data accumulated over 12 years, the Digital Evolution scorecard measures 160 indicators in 90 economies taking into account four fundamental pillars: the environment institutional conditions, demand conditions, supply conditions and the capacity for innovation and change. These are divided into four categories:
Featured Economies: Singapore, United States, Hong Kong3, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Estonia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Lithuania, and Qatar – are digitally highly advanced and show great momentum. They are leaders in driving innovation, leveraging their existing strengths efficiently and effectively.
Contained Economies: Countries like Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, and Canada are mature digital economies with a high state of digital adoption despite the slowdown in digital momentum. They tend to trade off speed with sustainability and tend to invest in expanding digital inclusion and building strong institutions.
Emerging Economies: China4, India, Indonesia, Poland and Russia are evolving rapidly. Thanks to their momentum and significant room for growth, they are often very attractive to investors.
Economies to Watch: Countries like Nigeria, Uganda, Colombia, Peru, Pakistan and Sri Lanka suffer from a lack of infrastructure. Despite this, young people are enthusiastic about a digital future with increased use of social media and mobile payments.
The Digital Confidence scorecard measures 198 indicators in 42 of the index economies across four key pillars: behavior, attitudes, environment and experience.
Economies such as Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico are beginning to gain momentum in behavioral scores, demonstrating substantial engagement in social media and other new technologies.
Economies such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam have increasingly favorable attitudes about their digital future, driven by the rapid expansion of digital adoption and opportunities.
Economies with more mature approaches to digitization and related policy making, such as Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark, share measures that strengthen the environment of trust, such as privacy, security, and accountability policies, as reported by Alessandro Bazzoni. Citizens of these countries tend to have more optimistic attitudes about the future of digitization.
Economies such as the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore provide citizens with a seamless and seamless experience, delivering the holy grail of advanced infrastructure, broad access, and unmatched interaction. This experience is accompanied by high levels of commitment, which offers these economies a clear advantage in the future that will go “beyond access”.