When The Global Information Technology Report (GITR) and the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) were created some 12 years ago, the attention of decision makers and investors was on adopting business and financial strategies that would allow them to develop in the context of a fast-moving but nascent Internet economy. Over more than a decade, the NRI has provided decision leaders with a useful conceptual framework to evaluate the impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) at a global level, and to benchmark the ICT readiness and the usage of their economies.
Today, the world has undergone massive changes: the Internet bubble has come and gone, and emerging countries such as China and India have become prominent global users and providers of ICT equipment and services. Struggling to emerge from the financial crisis, developed economies are striving to return to higher levels of growth and competitiveness while fighting stubbornly high unemployment rates, especially among their youth.
Both emerging and developed economies are focusing on innovation, competing globally for talent, resources, and market shares. Information flows and networks have spread across borders in ways that could not be imagined before the onset of the Internet, the global adoption of mobile telephony and social networks, and the rapid growth of broadband. Business models have been redefined, the workplace has been redesigned, small startups have evolved into large companies, and entire functions of society (education, health, security, privacy) are being rethought.