New Phase of the Digital Economy
Embracing +Intelligence in the new era
In the next 10 years, digital transformation will shift its focus to the supply side. To succeed in this transition, industries and companies need to embrace the +Intelligence process: turning ICT technologies into key capabilities that would improve the intelligence level in their operation, business and management processes to enhance productivity and enable innovation. As a result, the supply side will be upgraded to better match and further promote the ever-increasing consumer demands (e.g., cheaper, better, more customized, more readily available). Ultimately, +Intelligence will be the new digitization engine that drives and sustains the accelerated growth of the overall economy in the new era.
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New Accelerators for Digital Investments
5G is a major network revolution from its predecessors that will deliver capacity and efficiency not currently possible.
Low cost, high scalability and rapid deployment of cloud computing has helped unlock innovation, provide easy access to world-class technology and reduce carbon footprints for wider users.
Analytics is becoming increasingly powerful as a tool to drive business decisions and enhance customer experiences.
Hundreds of billions of devices connected to the internet of things will extend the digital economy to every sector of the economy.
AI enables people to leverage tools and data with minimal technical expertise, and will redefine the nature of jobs, and rearrange the location of factories.
key insights
The 'Digital Spillover' Effect
Internal channels:
Learning by doing
The internal channel describes how companies can amplify the initial gains they receive from their technology investment, as they learn more about how to leverage it across different departments in the company.
Horizontal channels:
Competition effects
The horizontal channel describes the process by which an innovation by one company is emulated by others, leading to productivity gains across a sector.
Vertical channels:
Supply chain effects
The vertical channel describes the process by which the productivity gains achieved in the delivery of digital goods and services are passed down the supply chain from primary producers to end users.
Forecasting the 2025 Digital Economy
Future Opportunities

The digital economy growth rate is 2.5 times that of the overall GDP. Investments in the right direction are crucial for any country that intends to realize, sustain or even exceed this digital economic growth. Our research shows that the long-term return due to ICT investment is 6.7 times the return on non-ICT investment.

More specifically, investments in computing power, algorithm and data as the new competitive resources in the "+Intelligence" era will create further advantages beyond ICT infrastructure readiness. The right policies and regulations need to also be in place to encourage a healthy investment environment for “+Intelligence” competitiveness.
The Challenge

There is a clear gap between the speed of digital technology adaptation and policy regulation. Governments should consider policies that will maximize the digital technology spillover effect.
Maximizing the Spillover
Reaping the Rewards
The future is unpredictable. Here we have developed four future scenarios to illuminate the potential pathways the global economy might take. Our scenarios were defined by two important variables. These will dictate the rate of digitalization that takes place across countries. Adjustments to these two variables are what varied the scenario results from the baseline projection.
1. The rate of investment in digital assets.
Globally, investment in digital assets has been growing steadily for decades but accelerated significantly in the past five years. Our baseline assumption is that the rate of growth in digital investment in each individual country since 2011 continues into the future. In our high digitalization scenario, we assume that it accelerates by the same amount in the next 10 years as it did in the past five. In the low-digitalization scenario, we assume that the rate of investment falls back to pre-2011 levels.
2. The return on investment for digital technologies.
Our baseline projection assumes the average return on investment for digital technologies remains the same as it has been historically, as estimated by our econometric model. In the high digitalization scenario, we assume that due to a smart digital strategy and success in overcoming the constraints to technology adoption, the return on investment for digital technologies increases. For a low-digitalization scenario, we assume it decreases. We based these assumptions on a statistically plausible upper and lower bound around the results of the econometric analysis.
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Influencers' Quotes
For more insights and methodology,
download the report.
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The Global Connectivity Index 2017
Harnessing the Power of Connectivity
The GCI 2017 offers critical insights for policy makers of ICT Infrastructure Investment - offering expert advice on the best way to energize industries and economies for sustainable growth and success.
Visit the GCI site