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Journal cover: info


ISSN: 1463-6697

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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The Latin American path towards digitization

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Title:The Latin American path towards digitization
Author(s):Raul L. Katz, (Director of Business Strategy Research at the Columbia Institute for Tele Information, New York, New York, USA, and Adjunct Professor in the Finance and Economics Division at Columbia Business School, New York, New York, USA), Pantelis Koutroumpis, (Fellow at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, Imperial College Business School, London, UK, and based at Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, New York, New York, USA), Fernando Callorda, (Professor at the Business Administration Department, ESEADE, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Citation:Raul L. Katz, Pantelis Koutroumpis, Fernando Callorda, (2013) "The Latin American path towards digitization", info, Vol. 15 Iss: 3, pp.6 - 24
Keywords:Broadband networks, Developing countries, Economic development, Government policy, Information society, Statistical analysis
DOI:10.1108/14636691311327098 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

PurposeDigitization is defined as the social transformation triggered by the massive adoption of digital technologies to generate, process, share and transact information. This paper seeks to present a methodology followed to calculate the Digitization Index, a concept originally developed by Booz & Company, the global management consulting firm, with the support of the authors.

Design/methodology/approachThis index consists of six elements capturing Ubiquity, Affordability, Reliability, Speed, Usability and Skill and 24 sub-indicators measuring tangible parameters of perceived digitization metrics.

FindingsThe index indicates that countries are clustered as Digitally Constrained, Emerging, Transitional or Advanced, with varying degrees of contribution of digitization to economic growth. The Index is used to assess the situation of Latin American countries in terms of their progression to digitally advanced societies. In this context, the areas to focus on in the formulation of Latin America digital agenda are outlined.

Originality/valueUntil now, most indices that measure progress towards this new era have focused primarily on metrics such as wireless telephony penetration, access to the internet and broadband adoption. The paper argues that these indices, even those that are more comprehensive in scope (Network Readiness Index by the World Economic Forum, or the Digital Opportunity Index by the International Telecommunication Union) capture only a portion of the ongoing transformations.

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