Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play a critical role in creating jobs and promoting economic growth, especially in developing countries – as the vast majority of businesses in low-income countries and more than half of all formal jobs worldwide stem from SMEs. The economic impact of SMEs to the information and communication technology (ICT) and mobile sectors are particularly important, and they play an increasingly critical role in addressing development challenges, such as sustainability and service delivery.
Fostering an environment that promotes digital entrepreneurship and is conducive to SMEs is critically important in keeping with the vision of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA): Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age for everyone.
In recent years, we have seen incredible technological advances through the Internet, mobile broadband and devices, artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced materials, improvements in energy efficiency and personalized medicine. Digital transformation is underway but not fully understood. Without action and collaboration, digital transformation will not by itself, lead to broadly shared prosperity and growth.
Digital transformation and the growth of utility-based cloud computing has shifted focus from technical barriers to the business environment obstacles that digital entrepreneurs must address on a regular basis. This shift puts new emphasis on the importance of government’s role in implementing sound and effective policies that enable the best climate for digital service incubation, innovation, growth and successful development.
Government’s role in digital transformation
In order to achieve these goals, WITSA developed the Digital Transformation Enabling Policy Principles paper to support governments and to foster sound national policies. Here are some of our key recommendations:
Work in the future will be driven by new generations of workers, rapid and unpredictable technological changes.
WITSA therefore strongly urges governments to redouble their efforts to foster national policies supporting new and transformative businesses as well as international competitiveness.