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Prince Amir Al Saud

Role of Information technology in growth of economy

Role of Information technology in growth of economy

Rapid innovations in technology in communication and information create a massive impact on the economic development of many nations. The progress made in technology can improve education and training, and at the same time address different social topics such as gender issues within a society.

Micro-entrepreneurs generate a large portion of the gross domestic product in many countries and they include developing nations such as Egypt, Nigeria, and Indonesia. They are also responsible for many technological innovations in the many industries. They create new business models, new business ideas, and novel strategies in selling goods and services. Wireless technology and IT infrastructure has also become essential for free enterprise and small business growth. In many developing countries, it is sometimes difficult to get access to vital market and capital information. Some countries do not have the right infrastructure to provide the proper financial information to small and striving businessmen.

For example, in many parts of Africa, only 30% of national roads have been paved, les than 25% the population have electricity and the ratio of landline phones to the population is 3:100. Another example is Indonesia where 3 out of every 4 households earn less than $2.50 per day. Inadequate infrastructure and poverty has become the root of the challenge for entrepreneurs to gain access to financial resources and information.

Here are shining examples of how information technology has helped improve work efficiency.

·       In India, the one million-strong Self-Employed Women’s Association or SEWA bring together their resources to boost their bargaining power. The organisation makes use of information technology in helping out their agricultural workers by sending out text messages or SMS that include the current commodity prices so these farmers can determine where the best spots are to sell their products. Those who participated were able to sell their products such as vegetables and fruits to a wider market and earn higher profits.

·       The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange Program has paved the way for lower product prices and fair market competition. In the past, it was difficult for consumers in this African country to look for better-priced items because of the lack of market competition. With the ECEP, agricultural producers and external buyers were linked directly to each other which enabled them to negotiate better prices. This greatly increased businessmen incomes and enhanced the quality of food products.

·       The Hand in Hand Partnership in India has empowered women to use their mobile devices to set up businesses within the technology area. The organization provides training, mentorship, credit, and even technical support.

·       The Farmers Helpful Network in Kenya informs farmers on what’s the latest in research through their mobile phones. Through technological breakthroughs in information technology, farmers can ask get helpful information from industry experts concerning anything from artificial insemination, crop rotation, and even crop insurance. The information that they acquire is vital in the improvement of their agricultural work and marketing their produce in order to increase their income.

The use of mobile technology is, for the most part, very vital to women since the statistics show that there are fewer women around the world who own mobile devices compared to men.

Wireless communication technology has played a tremendous role in education and training. For example, in Indonesia, an eTraining Program has provided critical technology services training to more than 1000 students. Upon enrolment, a student gets a three-month training program voucher. More than 9 out of 10 the people who enrolled completed the course, and 8 of them believed that the eTraining Program paved the way for a boost in their output and the consequential increase in their income.

The United Nations Development Programme study showed that more than half of women all over the world who owns a mobile phone earned additional income because of their phones.

Another convenience that modern technology has brought is the mobile payment system. Online payments either via the smartphone or the PC can greatly reduce the cost of financial transaction. This facilitates purchasing transactions which is vital to every businessman. If people are able to transfer funds rapidly and efficiently, small and medium-sized businesses can easily vend their products. This enhances the effectiveness of the marketplace and eliminates the many hindrances to business growth and development.

To cut a long story short, information technology provides broad assistance on different forms of economic and even social development. Advances in wireless communications technology allow enormous access to essential information, expand capital access, go beyond geographic boundaries, and widen market exposure. With tablets and mobile phone use increasing at unbelievable speed, these information technology apparatuses help people gain access to a wider array of suppliers, business partners, and potential customers. With the many popular social media platforms, people are able expand their reach using mobile devices and gather various business resources for future use.

Today, the entire world enjoys the advantages of many developments on information technology.

Here are the top ranked countries in information technology.

1.     The United States

The United States has always been a leader in technological innovation since the latter part of the 19th century. In fact, the first patented telephone made by Alexander Graham Bell was made here. The US is also where other technological inventions were made including the light bulb, the first working movie camera, the radio, alternating current, and a lot more. Today, the country is home to such information technology giants like Microsoft technologies, Oracle, Apple, Intel, HP, and a lot more. The American government has made massive investments in technological development that has spawned major breakthroughs in computing and information technology as well as other scientific fields. The US also has the world's highest number of scientific research papers.

There are over a hundred thousand information technology-related firms in the US, and a huge percentage belongs to the small and medium-sized companies’ category. The list includes software publishers, computer systems design outfits, and suppliers of custom computer programming services. The ICT industry has a workforce almost two million people of highly educated and skilled U.S. workforce and the number keeps on going up.

2.     Finland

For those who may not be aware, Finland is perhaps the most technologically-oriented nation in the world. Popular for projects that involve high technology, Finland has ranked by Newsweek as the best country in the world in the 2010 when it comes to health, economic vigour, education, political environment and quality of life. Finland has a highly industrialised economy and its earnings match Europe’s highly industrialized nations such as the UK, Germany, and France. Finland is the headquarters of information gadget giant Nokia.

As of the latest statistics, Finland has the world’s largest local economic jobs that are associated with information and communication technology. As of last count, 10% of Finland’s business workforces are employed in the ICT sector.

3.     Japan

Everybody knows that Japan is the leader in consumer electronics, robotics and the car industry. Everyone has heard of Sony which has diversified into mobile phones and computer peripherals, JVC, Toyota, and a lot more. The country has always been at the forefront of technology, scientific and medical research, and machinery. It budget for research and development is pegged at $130 billion with almost 700,000 researchers. Japan has the most number of Nobel Prize winners in Asia and it has more than half of all industrial robots used in the manufacturing industry.

Japan is undoubtedly the very first non-Western country to apply Western technological advances right after World War II. It has consistently proven that it is more than able to contribute to sustained technological advances in the world that started in the 20th century’

4.     Sweden

The government of Sweden allots a sizable portion of their GDP to research and development. Sweden is home to Symsoft and Teracom as well as Net4Mobility.

Back in 2009, Sweden was ranked by the United Nations as the most advanced Northern European country when it comes to information and communication technology. This is due to the Swedish government’s aggressive technology-centred education program.

5.     Republic of Korea

Lately, Korea is making massive headways in the field of cars, electronics, ships, heavy machinery, and robotics. The world's second walking human robot-HUBO was designed and made in Korea. The government of Korea intends to place a robot in every Korean house. Korea’s internet speed is hard to match and it is three times faster than the broadband speed in the US.

Based on a comprehensive study on information and communication technology competitiveness, South Korea has been tagged as the world’s most advanced ICT economy. Majority of the students in South Korea undergo rigorous technology-based training and this practice has been going on since the early 70’s.

6.     The Netherlands

The Netherlands enjoys a very advanced electronics industry. They manufacture telecommunication equipment, computers, electronic measurement and control tools, transformers, and medical as well as scientific tools. Many Dutch companies play an essential role in the European Space Agency. The Netherlands has made considerable progress when it comes to inventions such as the compact disc, artificial kidney, microscope, pendulum clock and telescope.

The Netherlands use ICT effectively on three facets: regulatory, the general business, and infrastructure environment for ICT. Some of the ICT trendsetters in the country include BiZZDEsign, Cadac Group, and Munisense.

7.     United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is among the top ten economies when it comes to purchasing power and sixth when it comes to gross domestic product. It is also the world's very first industrialised nation. Many things were invented in the UK the locomotive engine, jet engine, the Worldwide Web, incandescent bulb, the very first working television, electric motor, and electrical telegraph, and the discovery of hydrogen. It is home to Virgin Mobile, Cable and Wireless Global, CS Network, Orange, O2, Vodafone, and a lot more.

Information has always been a massive growth driver in the UK. Some of the progressive industries in the country include computer consultancy, computer gaming and programming, networking science, data processing, internet service, and web portals.

8.     Singapore

Singapore has always been tagged as among the world's ten most innovative and competitive countries. It is also a very business-friendly nation, with the government shelling out billions of dollars every year to maintain its knowledge-based economy. Singapore has embraced its status as one of the biggest global logistics hub. Every important ICT company in the western world has its Asian headquarters in Singapore.

9.     Canada

Canada has a very progressive technology division. The government allots almost 2% of its gross domestic product income for research and development. The government has established a department that will take care of improving the quality of life of Canadians via science and technology research. This huge investment in the fields of science and technology has created a lot of jobs and a better economy for the country. Canada has a Science and Technology Committee that oversees the government’s initiatives on the development of ICT infrastructures in the country.

10.  Australia

Australia is ranked as thirteenth biggest in terms of economy. The country has a high regard for health care, public education, improvement of the quality of life, and economic freedom. They concentrate on research and development on information and communications, biotechnology and manufacturing.

Conclusion 

It is beyond obvious that countries which foster information technology infrastructure are the ones which have seen tremendous progress in terms of economic and social development. There are characteristics of information technology which make it a very attractive element for any strategy designed to meet development challenges. To begin with, information technology is exceedingly versatile. In fact, it can actually be the most versatile component of modern society nowadays. It can be sued for so many things. It can be customized to match an assortment of varied challenges. It does not have to always be built and developed for a specific purpose. The same network used to serve a particular corporate purpose can be used (along with the server, and peripheral devices including computers and mobile phones) to support remote education and distance health delivery and connect far rural towns to international markets.

At the same time, information technology can help people go beyond the geographical barriers. It allows individuals of any race or faith anywhere in the planet access to the same information without having to spend so much time and money, things that are associated with actual physical travel. This benefit of information technology is significantly enhanced by the introduction of wireless communications which gives way to breakthrough communication systems such as voice-over-Internet protocol long-distance service or VOIP.

Information technology allows users wherever they are to harness the advantages of the exponential boost in value that is always associated with every additional user.

In addition, information technology has the capability to facilitate the transfer of knowledge across the many communities in different areas at the same. This will greatly help developing nations to realize many productivity gains and make the most out of state-of-the-art technolog

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