The Global Digital Divide and Digital Transformation: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Living in a Digital Society

The Global Digital Divide and Digital Transformation: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Living in a Digital Society

Tendai Shelton Muwani, Njodzi Ranganai, Lemias Zivanai, Briget Munyoro
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3901-2.ch011
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The use of digital gadgets and services is pervasive. Digitalization in data, information, and technologies is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as 4IR or Industry 4.0), resulting in a global digital divide. The chapter proposes a strategy in collaboration with a variety of service sector partners that would allow governments to capitalize on the possibility of closing the technology gap between nations in a manner that benefits inclusive and sustainable growth in middle and low countries. Emerging revolution and internet access can strengthen socio-economic development and improve people's way of living, but they also have the potential to widen political divides, undermine democracy, and increase inequality. In response to COVID-19, the chapter also proposes digital technologies as tools for achieving sustainable development goals and digitalization response measures in marginalized societies.
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Digital innovation seems to have a significant impact on society that previous interventions could only dream of, thanks to its ease of implementation and scalability (Panori et al., 2021). Data solutions and millisecond data travel distances can serve local, national, and global populations at the same time. It allows hitherto inconceivable communication and collaboration between physically distant groups (the gap in society between individuals, including dimensions such as social class, religion or ethnicity, gender, or sexuality) (Ingram, 2021). Traditional modes of communication, corporate understanding, how people perform at home and at work, and possibly even governance are being impacted by digitalization. By broadening and deepening access to data and communication services, lowering operational expenditure, increasing productivity and efficiency, fostering economic growth, enabling financial intermediation, developing innovative or robust solutions, and lowering technology costs, it is improving openness and transparency, as well as citizen-government interaction. Covid-19 has proven its ability to provide factual information in charitable and stressful events (Commission, 2019).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Transformation: Is the process of using digital technologies to create new—or modify existing—business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.

Digital Age: Is the time period starting in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer with subsequent technology introduced providing the ability to transfer information freely and quickly.

Technological Evolution: Is a theory of radical transformation of society through technological development.

Internet: A global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

Industrial Revolution: Is the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. These technological changes introduced novel ways of working and living and fundamentally transformed society.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

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