Starter countries looking to convert industry from traditional agriculture or low-tech manufacturing to knowledge-based fields, and move from Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) to Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), will need to invest in broadband and Cloud to impact economic performance.
The Philippines is an example of improving ICT Infrastructure such as international bandwidth, broadband download speed and Cloud access to transform one of the nation’s natural advantages into a thriving knowledge-based industry.
Improved Smart Infrastructure helped the Philippines create an IT-BPO (business process outsourcing) sector that earned US$22 billion in 2015 and created 1.2 million knowledge-based jobs.
The Central Bank of the Philippines has projected that in 2017/2018 foreign revenue generated by this sector will surpass the annual remittances of overseas Filipino workers.
The availability and quality of ICT Infrastructure is a critical resource for SMEs and entrepreneurs for their ability to economically participate and create demand at scale.
Cloud Services significantly impact on SME innovation, productivity and business agility. To break the bottleneck, some nations have launched national digital initiatives aimed at making Cloud services more accessible and affordable
The European Commission, for example, supported the launch of the E-BZI platform to improve the profitability of the fashion industry. This has so far benefited over 150 small companies in the textile and footwear sector from 20 European countries, and was made possible because the platform is hosted in the Cloud and accessible via broadband.
In South America, Columbia decided to position itself as a hub for domestic and export App Economy. With improving mobile and fixed broadband connections, Cloud Services, and mass distribution of smartphones, Colombia companies can develop, market and sell their services using this low cost model.
To facilitate this, the Columbian Ministry of ICT started a platform called apps.co to leverage Cloud resources and help create over 83,000 jobs in the nation.
ICT infrastructure has energized a new generation of freelance workers in the emerging gig-economy as it frees people to work from anywhere, do work they like, when they like.
The gig-economy is already generating US$1 trillion for the US economy, allowing 55 million people to work as freelancers with increased workforce satisfaction and higher income.
Tax and corporate lawyers in the US can consult and advise their clients in Japan or China looking to enter the US market, architects in London can work with firms in the UAE to design the next mind-boggling building, engineers in Germany can guide technicians in Africa to repair power generators and surgeons sitting in the safety of their own nations are able to guide local nurses to perform surgery in armed conflict zones.