Saudi Arabia: Today, online technologies such as broadband connectivity, wireless mobility, cloud computing, e-commerce, social media and sensors are quickly transforming the world - creating new and innovative ways to work, play, consume, interact and communicate.
These activities comprise the 'digitization' process - identified as the pervasive adoption of a wide variety of digital, real-time, and networked technologies, products, and services that enable people, companies, governments, and even machines to stay connected with one another. In truth, while the benefits for companies on the leading edge of the digitization trend include greater customer insight and reach, higher productivity, and new business models, the fact remains that these gains are not evenly reaped among nations, markets or industries. To that end, Management consulting firm Booz & Company have created the "Industry Digitization Index" - providing in-depth analysis into the industries that are leading the pack in digitizing themselves as well as the array of factors driving such effort.
The process of digitalization is sweeping nations worldwide and, as a result, people from across the globe can now find a vast wealth of information, and exchange, rate, and review it for all to see. In turn, companies are collecting detailed data on consumers and their behavior and using that knowledge to better target marketing efforts as well as effectively design products and services. In fact, with digitization, governments too can gather and disseminate information quicker, making their operation - in the best cases - increasingly transparent and their dealings with their populations more efficient.
Indeed, the benefits of digitization are certainly being realized, with the speed at which the process is taking place varying according to industry. "These differences can be felt in how quickly certain sectors are capturing value as digitization grows in importance," said Bahjat El-Darwiche, a partner with Booz & Company.
The Digitization Index analyzes the digitization trend and its effect on national economies, industry sectors, and society at large.
The primary goal of the index is to measure which markets and industries are adopting and benefiting from digitization, and which are lagging. "A further goal is to gain insight into the specific technological factors that are enabling some to move forward more quickly than others. In order to do this, it is important to obtain a complete picture of how these markets and industries use technology," said Milind Singh, a principal with Booz & Company.
As part of this initiative, four separate but tightly-interconnected dimensions need to be considered:
• The way in which transactions into an industry are enabled by digitization.
• The digital platforms and tools that companies in a particular industry use to orchestrate their internal value chain as well as interactions within their industry ecosystems.
• The industry outputs for which digitization enables more efficient delivery of products and services, including distribution, electronic commerce, and the like.
• The foundational infrastructure that underpins it all.
The most complete and reliable source of data found for this study stems from Eurostat.