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Digital Transformation, by the Numbers

Dennis Mendyk
5/15/2017
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The communications industry has more than its fair share of quantitative models that track progress (or lack thereof) in various performance aspects. Among these yardsticks is the Global Connectivity Index (GCI), created and launched by Huawei Technologies in 2014 to assess progress toward digital transformation.

GCI is set up to measure digital transformation activity on a country-by-country basis. All told, the index includes ratings for 50 nations, ranging from developed economies to emerging markets. The ratings are based on 40 different variables that fall into six basic groupings: broadband, data centers, cloud services, big data, IoT and "fundamentals," a category that encompasses macroeconomic factors like national regulations, IT workforce availability and the quality of government digital initiatives, among other issues.

Those six groupings are further broken out into what Huawei calls four pillars: supply, demand, experience and potential. Ratings for each of the 40 variables then form the basis for an overall aggregate rating for each nation included in the index.

While basic data like broadband penetration and service data rates are used in the index, the stated goal is to deliver a comprehensive evaluation of each nation's progress toward the digital transformation that Huawei believes is essential to competing in the global economy. In that context, the 2017 GCI ratings, released in April, hold some surprising results.

One surprise is that South Korea, widely acknowledged as a global leader in broadband connectivity, rates only ninth out of the 50 countries in Huawei's assessment of digital transformation progress. In the GCI assessment, South Korea is lagging other leading markets in deployment of cloud, big data and IoT. In comparison, another national market well known for its broadband leadership -- Singapore -- is rated second in the GCI, trailing only the US.

In its analysis of the 2017 GCI, Huawei notes that while the scores among the leading digital transformation economies are tightening, the gap between the leaders and what it calls the "starters" in digital transformation is widening. In another surprise, one of the countries in the group of digital have-nots is India, a nation that plays a key role in the global IT industry.

A report on the 2017 GCI, along with a detailed explanation of the project and evaluations for each of the 50 countries included in the index, is available here.

This blog is sponsored by Huawei.

— Dennis Mendyk, SVP of Research, Heavy Reading

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5/17/2017 | 2:21:42 AM
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