Latin America is Accelerating Digital Readiness – and a Better Life for All Latin Americans
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
President Latin America & Senior Vice President in the Americas
Corporate News, Digital Business, Public Sector, Collaborations, Innovation
To help communities thrive in an increasingly digital world, we must harness the power of digitization to create economic opportunity for all. Technology is transforming the world at an unprecedented pace. Countries are racing to prepare their infrastructure and their workforce for the inevitable transition to a digital economy. But are we ready?
To help answer this question, Cisco collaborated with Gartner, Inc. on a new research study to determine how to effectively measure a country’s digital readiness and determine what interventions could help countries to advance their digital journey.
For this study, 118 countries were included – 19 in Latin America. Using a holistic approach, seven components were used to measure digital readiness: technology infrastructure, technology adoption, ease of doing business, human capital development, business and government investment, basic human needs, and the start-up environment. Based on the findings, three stages of digital readiness emerged: Activate, Accelerate and Amplify.
Countries at the beginning of their digital journey are in the “Activate” phase. Countries that score in the middle range are in the “Accelerate” stage. And countries at the highest stage of digital readiness are in the “Amplify” phase.
Different interventions or activities are needed depending on the stage of digital readiness.
To review the full study click here – then scroll down to Modeling an Inclusive Digital Future and download the full report in English or Spanish.
According to the study, most Latin American countries score in the middle, or in the “Accelerate” phase, with a few countries scoring close to the highest stage of digital readiness. The study suggests that countries in the Accelerate phase need to prioritize three areas, in addition to improvements in technology infrastructure and adoption, in order to continue making progress toward a higher state of digital readiness: developing human capital, ensuring basic human needs, and making it easier to do business.
Cisco is proud to support Latin America’s efforts to become more digitally ready through our collaboration with government agencies in countries throughout the region. This collaboration includes Corporate Social Responsibility programs like the Cisco Networking Academy, and our work with nonprofit and NGO organizations like NetHope, which helped Puerto Rico recover from last year’s devastating hurricane.
Each of the countries across Latin America have different strengths among the components of digital readiness. Argentina and Uruguay lead the region in Adult Literacy. Brazil and Mexico’s highest-ranking scores are in Business and Government Investment (Mexico’s score is .14 points above the global average.) Costa Rica also scores high in Business and Government Investment (.15 above the global average), and in Basic Needs (.88 above the global average). Chile is above the global average in both Basic Needs and Business Foundation by 1.00 and .44, respectively. In fact, Chile is ranked 22nd globally in Basic Needs. Colombia’s highest ranked score is its Startup Environment.
We believe that public private partnerships are essential to moving Latin America forward on its journey to digital readiness. One area where such partnerships are already making a difference is in developing human capital and a skilled labor force. The Cisco Networking Academy has helped nearly 1.6 million Latin American citizens develop the skills they need to participate in the digital economy. Latin America needs a workforce that is trained in both essential and emerging networking and technology skills, as well as non-technical skills like proficiency in English, teamwork, problem solving, creativity and innovation, and communication. Cisco Networking Academy is partnering with more than 1,500 Latin American institutions of learning to offer just this type of coursework.
Education and technology are key ingredients in raising a country’s digital readiness. We believe that as Latin Americans move up the digital scale, the quality of life for everyone in the region will improve. Digital readiness helps create new jobs, expands access to education, brings better healthcare to more people, and increases public safety. So, as we prepare for a digital world by educating and connecting all people, we are moving closer to our economic vision of thriving entrepreneurship, innovation and inclusion.
The digital age is here, and it holds great potential for all Latin American citizens. By working together, we can continue to move Latin America closer to digital readiness.
And we are very excited to be a part of this evolution!