The e-readiness of a country refers to the ability of a state to utilize information and communication technology (ICT) for sustainable welfare and development. It is measured by the extent and quality of ICT infrastructure, e-skills, and relevant regulations. E-readiness has become an essential tool for countries, governments, citizens, and organizations as the world turns into an open global market. It also supports international socio-economic development by transforming the traditional methods of relaying information into more efficient contemporary methods. The economic structure of the modern world is dependent on the technological aspect of the country and, therefore, governments and institutions continuously invest in innovative ways to alter or maintain the swiftness with even better technologies.
European countries lead the world in e-government rankings while Asia and the Americas share the middle spot. African countries continue to struggle with Sub-Saharan Africa performing poorly. According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, South Korea, Denmark, and Iceland take the top three spots on the ICT Development Index Ranking. Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines import and export the most ICT goods. In regards to the ICT service export sector, Ghana holds the largest share at 78%.
Importance of E-Readiness
E-readiness is one of the signs of development in a country. It creates a platform for the dissemination of information from the traditional methods to the new improved channels. The drivers of these transformations employ scientific methods of thinking and analyzing choices for better decision-making. In the developing world, ICT is concerned with the creation of economies that sustain a high level of employment, human capital, and better governance for the general wellbeing of society. The adoption of ICT in the business environment is also a source of competitive advantage by organizing the way businesses and organizations interact with stakeholders including suppliers, employees, investors, and customers. From the political and social perspective, e-readiness allow citizens to share personal experiences with the world as well as empower them to participate in policy-making. It gives voices to those that have been excluded from society.
E-readiness Assessments Tools
E-readiness assessments vary in their goals and strategies. They are designed to evaluate individual and organizational capabilities to access opportunities offered by the electronic world. E-readiness is classified according to social and economic perspective and measured by e-society assessment tools and e-economy assessment tools respectively. However, the two categories are not mutually exclusive and depend on each other for effective collection of data. The models employ different assessment methodologies such as statistical methods, questionnaires, and historical analysis. Some of the organizations that conduct the e-readiness assessments include the Economist Intelligence Unit, Centre for International Development Harvard University, USAID, the World Bank, and the United Nations.