Global Connectivity Index

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The Global Connectivity Index (GCI) is a comprehensive guide for policy makers and industry leaders to develop a roadmap to the digital economy. Over its fifth years of publication, the GCI has evolved, increasing the number of nations tracked in its rankings, and by constantly strengthening the methodology and research standards it employs. The growth of the GCI’s database since the first Index was published in 2014 offers practical insights and recommendations for policy makers on what it takes to succeed in the digital economy.

Scope[edit]

Today, the GCI[1] tracks and benchmarks the progress of 79 nations toward the digital economy. Its core methodology analyzes 40 indicators that identify progress made in the interplay of ICT investment, technology adoption, user experience and market development. Based on this criteria, the Index assigns a “GCI score” for each indicator based on a realistic future target value. The movement of even a single GCI point from year to year is a significant reflection of a country’s progress toward a digital economy.

The GCI offers a unique research framework to assess a nation’s digital transformation by looking at four economic pillars namely supply, demand, experience and potential, in addition to five technology enablers - broadband, cloud, data center, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Under this proprietary research methodology, three clusters of nations are grouped according to their GCI position and GDP per capita. The three GCI clusters – Starters (GCI Score 20-34), Adopters (score 35-55), and Frontrunners (score 56-85) – account for almost 95% of global GDP.

Most ICT indexes focus on a single technology area such as broadband, cloud, data center or other technology enablers. What differentiates the GCI is that it is the only index available that goes deeper into key technology areas and at the same time measures their collective impact on the digital economy. In addition to the five core technology enablers, the GCI also takes into consideration other indicators such as workforce, ICT laws, and e-Government services. It is seen as an authoritative source that informs policy makers and industry leaders on their nation’s investment, adoption, quality and potential compared to their peers, as well as its related impact on the digital economy.

Key findings[edit]

The widening of the global digital divide

In GCI 2018[2], Frontrunners pulled far ahead of nations that are on the lower spectrum of the GCI S-curve, improving their GCI scores by 6 points, as did the Adopters by 5.2 points. But the Starters fell farther behind, improving their GCI score on average by only 2.4 points. We are witnessing an ICT version of sociology’s “Matthew Effect”, where the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” based on an accumulated advantage over time. Policy makers in the Adopters, and especially in the Starters, must consider the deepening inequality gap as it will have long-term consequences on their ability to compete and sustain economic growth. This trend remains true and shows signs of growing more pronounced in 2018.

The report advised Starters which are struggling to put the necessary broadband and cloud services in place to create niche market business opportunities and ultimately generate sustainable economic growth despite what could be considered a competitive disadvantage.

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A comparison of GCI reports over the four-year period from 2015 through 2018 shows significant changes in country rankings. In the GCI 2018 report, most of the 79 nations in the rankings saw overall GCI scores improve.

Country GCI 2018 Rank GCI 2017 Rank GCI 2016 Rank GCI 2015 Rank GCI Rank Change (2018-2015)
United States 1 1 1 1 0
Singapore 2 2 2 2 0
Sweden 3 3 3 3 0
Switzerland 4 4 4 4 0
United Kingdom 5 6 6 7 -2
Finland 6 5 5 5 1
Denmark 7 7 7 8 -1
Netherlands 8 8 8 9 -1
Norway 9 11 11 11 -2
Japan 10 9 10 10 0
South Korea 11 10 9 6 5
Australia 12 12 13 14 -2
Luxembourg 13 15 12 12 1
Germany 14 13 14 15 -1
New Zealand 15 14 16 20 -5
Ireland 16 17 15 13 3
Canada 17 16 20 16 1
Belgium 18 20 18 17 1
France 19 18 19 18 1
Austria 20 19 17 19 1
Spain 21 21 22 25 -4
Estonia 22 23 24 24 -2
United Arab Emirates 23 22 21 21 2
Lithuania 24 25 25 26 -2
Portugal 25 24 23 22 3
Slovenia 26 28 26 23 3
China 27 29 32 32 -5
Italy 28 27 29 31 -3
Czech Republic 29 26 27 27 2
Hungary 30 31 28 29 1
Slovakia 31 33 31 28 3
Malaysia 32 32 33 43 -11
Chile 33 30 30 36 -3
Greece 34 35 39 39 -5
Croatia 35 37 40 37 -2
Russia 36 34 37 40 -4
Kuwait 37 38 34 30 7
Poland 38 39 38 35 3
Romania 39 36 41 38 1
Bahrain 40 41 36 34 6
Saudi Arabia 41 40 35 33 8
Belarus 42 44 46 44 -2
Bulgaria 43 43 43 42 1
Brazil 44 42 47 47 -3
Kazakhstan 45 47 44 45 0
South Africa 46 46 45 46 0
Oman 47 45 42 41 6
Mexico 48 49 50 52 -4
Uruguay 49 50 48 48 1
Ukraine 50 48 53 55 -5
Thailand 51 51 52 50 1
Turkey 52 52 51 51 1
Serbia 53 54 54 54 -1
Colombia 54 53 49 53 1
Argentina 55 55 55 59 -4
Peru 56 56 56 57 -1
Philippines 57 57 57 61 -4
Jordan 58 58 58 58 0
Egypt 59 62 62 56 3
Lebanon 60 59 60 60 0
Vietnam 61 61 63 64 -3
Venezuela 62 60 61 49 13
India 63 64 64 65 -2
Indonesia 64 63 59 63 1
Morocco 65 65 65 62 3
Algeria 66 67 67 67 -1
Ecuador 67 66 66 66 1
Kenya 68 69 69 68 0
Ghana 69 68 68 69 0
Nigeria 70 70 71 71 -1
Botswana 71 71 70 70 1
Namibia 72 72 72 72 0
Paraguay 73 73 76 76 -3
Tanzania 74 75 73 73 1
Uganda 75 74 74 74 1
Bolivia 76 76 77 75 1
Pakistan 77 78 79 78 -1
Bangladesh 78 77 75 79 -1
Ethiopia 79 79 80 77 2

Key GCI findings (2015-2018)

Year Key GCI Findings
2018[3] AI is turning Intelligent Connectivity into a gateway for a new economic growth cycle.

AI readiness is integral to success in the digital economy. The AI readiness assesses whether a country has met the three preconditions for AI: computing power, labeled data and algorithms.   

2017[4] The law of increasing returns for ICT infrastructure investment – every additional US$1 invested could yield up to US$5 in GDP growth by 2025:

An additional 10% of ICT infrastructure investment each year incorporated into an economic master plan beginning in 2016, over time, would have a multiplier effect that by 2025 could add US$17.6 trillion in GDP to the global economy. In real terms, the potential impact is equal to about the size of the European Union's GDP in 2016. Using this economic impact mode, the GCI 2017 finds that every additional US$1 of ICT Infrastructure investment could bring a return of US$3 in GDP in 2016, US$3.70 in 2020 and see a potential return of US$5 in 2025.

2016[5] Impact of 1 point of GCI:

GCI scores are not abstract numbers, but have a real-world effect on economic growth. A movement in GCI score of only 1 point correlates to: a 2.3% increase in productivity, a 2.2% rise in innovation and a 2.1% increase in national competitiveness.

2015[6] Construction of ICT infrastructure is critical for a nation's competitiveness:

A 20% increase in ICT investment will grow a nation's GDP by 1%.

2014[7] 100 billion connections by 2025, producing 175 zettabytes of data per year:

By 2025, as many as 100 billion connections will be generated globally, 90% of which will come from intelligent sensors. This increase will be due to enterprises becoming enabled by the internet. By leveraging connectivity to streamline business processes, reduce costs and improve efficiency, enterprises will drive innovation and move the focus from a consumer driven internet to an industrial one.

Differences between the three GCI clusters – Starters, Adopters, and Frontrunners

Starter: Average GDP Per capita: US$3,700 | GCI score: 20-34 These nations are in the early stage of ICT infrastructure build-out. Their focus is on increasing ICT supply to give more people access to the digital economy.

Adopter: Average GDP Per capita: US$16,300 | GCI score: 35-55 Nations in this cluster experience the biggest GDP growth from ICT Infrastructure. Their focus is on increasing ICT demand to facilitate industry digitization and high-quality economic growth.

Frontrunner: Average GDP Per capita: US$54,100 | GCI score: 56-85 These nations are mainly developed economies. They continually boost user experience and use big data and IoT to develop a smarter and more efficient society.

GCI Methodology[edit]

The GCI has a unique research model as it comprises 40 indicators that can be analyzed in terms of four economic pillars and five technology enablers. Based on these indicators, the GCI fully and objectively measures, analyzes, and forecasts the economies tracked; quantifies the digital economy transformation journey they are undergoing; and provides a reference tool for policy makers and industry leaders. The four economic pillars are ICT supply, demand, experience, and potential. The five technology enablers are broadband, datacenter, cloud services, big data, and the IoT.

The first report published in 2014, covered 25 nations and 10 industries, including finance, manufacturing, education, transportation and logistics which accounted for 95% of global GDP. The GCI 2015 report, first covered 50 nations with 38 indicators. In the GCI 2016 report, two new indicators were introduced, raising the total to 40. In addition, the GCI 2016 also included updated definitions (e.g. replacing 3G coverage with 4G coverage) based on advances in ICT. In 2018, the GCI broadened the scope from 50 to 79 nations.

Influence[edit]

The GCI has gradually become a global benchmark for the assessment of digital transformation. It has been cited by more than 30 authoritative agencies including: Accenture[8], Asia Development Bank Institute[9], APEC Business Advisory Council[10], GSMA[11], G20[12] and The Center for Transatlantic Relations[13].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2018". Huawei. Retrieved August 10 2018.  
  2. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2018". Huawei. Retrieved August 10 2018.
  3. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2018". Huawei. Retrieved August 10 2018.
  4. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2017". Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Global Connectivity Index 2014". Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  8. ^ “Digital China 2020: An action plan for Chinese enterprises”. Accenture. Retrieved August 10 2018.  
  9. ^ “Trans-Pacific Partnership Rules For Digital Trade In Asia”. Asia Development Bank Institute. Retrieved August 10 2018.    
  10. ^ “Driving Economic Growth Through Cross-Border E-Commerce in APEC: Empowering MSMEs and Eliminating Barriers”. APEC Business Advisory Council. Retrieved August 10 2018.    
  11. ^ “Mobile Connectivity Index: Methodology”. GSMA. Retrieved August 10 2018.
  12. ^ “G20 Digital Infrastructure: Overcoming the Digital Divide in Emerging Economies”. G20 Insights. Retrieved August 10 2018.    
  13. ^ “The Transatlantic Economy 2018”. Center for Transatlantic Relations. Retrieved August 10 2018.