The pandemic has accelerated both digital immersion and a digital transformation gap. COVID-19 catapulted organizations everywhere into the digital-first world. Greater access to connectivity and digital services had already been reshaping industries, business models, and supply chains; the pandemic accelerated these trends, requiring organizations of all types to rely more heavily on digital operations and business models to create new value and experiences. But while some organizations are making progress on their digital transformation goals, others have not. The pandemic widened this digital transformation gap; as some speed ahead, others struggle to survive, let alone thrive. Without a comprehensive government approach to digitally equipping an economy, including sustainable investment in connectivity infrastructure and services, inequalities widen. A complete and responsible digital transformation of industries requires careful consideration of digital infrastructure investments and related policies, to enable a transition across an entire economy - in ways that benefit society as a whole, and not just now but for years to come. Governments have an opportunity to make step changes in terms of technological advancement across industries and in their own operations, through sound policy and investments in digital skills and infrastructure. Research shows that digital transformation could help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors by as much as 20% by 2050. In addition, the World Bank estimates that the digital economy is equivalent to 15.5% of global GDP, having grown two-and-a-half times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years. Low productivity and scaled back growth, coupled with an inability to fully (and responsibly) benefit from technologies such as cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing will lead to a deteriorating quality of essential services - and block the transition to a more advanced economy. Interoperability will be vital for ensuring information exchange, and enabling collaboration. Priorities for collaboration: -Encourage a cross-sector, public-private dialogue on value creation to design new frameworks around sustainable investments in connectivity infrastructure and services; -Stimulate growth through digitally enabled collaboration models that enable transformation of industries.
Digital and Sustainable Transformation of Industries