In what ways technology can help the economy

At a time of slowed development and continued volatility, several countries are looking for policies that would stimulate development and generate new jobs. Information communications technology (ICT) is not only one of the fastest growing industries as well as directly creating millions of jobs but it is also an imperative enabler of innovation and development.

The number of mobile subscriptions as 6.8 billion is approaching global population figures, with 40% of people in the world already online. In this new environment, competitiveness of economies depends on their capability to influence new technologies. Here are the some common economic effects of ICT.


1. Direct job creation

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The ICT sector is, and is expected to remain, one of the largest employers. In the US, computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 22% up to 2020, creating 758,800 new jobs. In Australia, building and running the new superfast National Broadband Network would support 25,000 jobs annually. Naturally, the development in different segments is not level. In the United States, for each job in the high-tech industry, five extra jobs, on average, are created in other sectors. In 2013, global tech market will grow by 8%, creating jobs, salaries and a widening series of services and products.


 2. Contribution to GDP growth

Findings from a variety of countries confirm the positive effect of ICT on development. For instance, a 10% enhance in broadband penetration is associated with a 1.40% increase in GDP growth in emerging markets. In China, this number can reach 2.5%. The doubling of mobile data use caused by increase in 3G connections boosts GDP per capita growth rate through 0.5% globally. The Internet accounts for 3.4% of overall GDP in some economies. Most of this result is driven by e-commerce as people advertising and selling goods online.


 3. Emergence of new industries and services

Many public services have become available online and throughout mobile phones. The transition to cloud computing is one of the main trends for modernization. The government of Moldova is one of the first countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to shift its government IT infrastructure into cloud and launch mobile and e-services for businesses and citizens. ICT has enabled an emergence of a completely new sector as the app industry. "Research shows that Facebook apps alone created over 182,000 jobs in 2011, and that the aggregate value of Facebook app economy exceeds $$12 billion."


 4. Workforce transformation


New "microwork" platforms, developed by companies like oDesk, Amazon and Samasource, help to split tasks into small components that can after that be outsourced to contract workers. The contractors are frequently based in emerging economies. Microwork platforms allow entrepreneurs to significantly cut costs and get access to qualified workers. In 2012, oDesk alone had over 3 million registered contractors who performed 1.50 million tasks. This trend had spill over effects on other industries, for example online payment systems. ICT has also contributed to the rise of entrepreneurship, making it much easier for self starters to access best practices, legal and marketing, regulatory information and investment resources.


 5. New Business innovation

In OECD nations, more than 95 % of businesses have an online presence. The Internet provides them with new way of reaching out to customers and competing for the market share. Over the past some years, social media has established itself as a powerful marketing tool. ICT tools employed within companies help to streamline business process and progress efficiency. The unprecedented explosion of connected devices all through the world has created new ways for businesses to serve their customers.

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