Arthur D. LittleArthur D. Little

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Digital transformation in developing countries

Digital transformation in developing countries

Promotion and adoption should be the main actions for companies and government

We believe it is a mistake to equate the digital-economy development needs and implications of Latin America (and other developing countries) with those of developed economies. These differences are not only based on the purchase power gaps that every businessperson is aware of, but also how all market forces differ in the two regions.

In Figure 2 of this paper, we state how the populations in developing economies (taking Latin America as the example) differ in most of the key attributes needed to drive the development of the digital economy. These include:

  • Lower internet access and connectivity
  • Mobile services usage being driven to voice instead of data consumption
  • Millennials' limited access to and contact with technology
  • Less access to banking and electronic payment services

Considering these important demographic, connectivity and requirement gaps between the economies, we explain how companies and governments in developing economies need to pursue a specific approach to ensure development of adequate digital economies.

Governments have an important challenge to promote acceptance of new technologies and ease of digital adoption by populations and companies. Some of the recommended actions are energizing digital acceptance with holistic digital public policies, measuring the digital impact in economies and promoting digital telecommunications infrastructure, redefining traditional regulatory framework and institutions, fostering digital and banking penetration, and understanding the implications of each new business model in order to quickly react.

Management should engage the organiza tion with a digital culture and vision that integrates market and operational advantages, continuously push better digital interaction tools with customers and stakeholders, ensure digital trust, and accelerate the adoption of new and mature technologies. Closing the digital gap will require effective coordination between regulators and companies, which today seems to be a major challenge.

Released: October 2017

Download File ADL_Digital_in_Emerging_markets.pdf (.PDF, 553 Kb)

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