The concept known as the digital divide embodies the discrepancy in accessibility to modern information and communications technology (ICT) between different demographics and regions. It encompasses those who possess unrestricted access and those who lack or have limited access to such advancements. The advanced technology encompasses various devices such as the telephone, television, personal computers, and internet connectivity. This is basically the reason for the differences. Let us find out about Social and Economic Bridges: Deploying Technology in New Ways.
How Does the Digital Divide Look Like in the Present Day?
Today, it is evident from various studies and reports that the digital divide continues to be a prominent issue. Around 5 million rural American households and 15.3 million urban or metro areas still do not have access to broadband internet, as reported in 2019.
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre, it has been found that a significant portion of adults, 24% to be precise, with household incomes below $30,000 per year do not possess a smartphone. Furthermore, a staggering 40% of individuals with lower incomes are without home broadband services or a computer.
In developing countries around the world, there exists a significant disparity known as the digital divide, which encompasses the limited availability of digital technology and internet connectivity. Additionally, it may encompass limited access to cutting-edge technologies like smartphones and Wi-Fi connectivity. Furthermore, there is a substantial disparity in telecommunication bandwidth worldwide.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Supporters of bridging the digital divide argue that it would enhance digital literacy, foster digital skills, promote democracy, advance social mobility, ensure economic equality, and stimulate economic growth.
The United Nations raises awareness about the global digital divide through an annual event called World Information Society Day. To address the global digital divide, a major step forward has been taken by establishing the Information and Communication Technologies Task Force.
Methods To Deploying Technology in New Ways
The emergence of services like video on demand, video conferencing, and virtual classrooms has resulted in a concerning reality for those on the disadvantaged side of the digital divide. They lack access to and cannot afford the high-speed internet connections necessary for these services. This separate-access marketplace poses a significant problem.
In order to tackle this issue, certain nonprofit organizations have made the proactive decision to supply school districts and low-income areas with internet access and laptops.
Failed technology initiatives result in significant wastage of resources, specifically in terms of both time and money. If organizations do not have a well-defined evaluation and selection process in place, they are exposing themselves to the dangers of confusion, delays, and conflicts among their teams. Before hastily deploying a new technology, businesses should carefully consider these five often overlooked but crucial best practices:
1. Identify Necessary Features And Resources
Having a well-defined process plan that clearly identifies software requirements is absolutely crucial. This will help identify any missing user stories, integration points, and automation requirements, providing a clearer understanding.
- Identifying current pain points in current processes is just as important as defining new requirements and a desired process plan for the proposed business application solution.
- To ensure a smooth deployment, it is important to clearly outline the necessary features and identify the key resources. This helps prevent any potential issues that could cause delays.
- To identify key resources, it is important to have open communication with stakeholders and assign responsibilities to all participants at the beginning of the project.
- Creating a single team mind-set is crucial. This involves considering the requirements of departments, staff, and executives.
- Consider the details of deployment, such as on-premises vs. cloud, number of locations, number of users, and permission levels. Ensuring that the initiative meets everyone’s expectations.
2. Understand Customers
Consider how this new business application will serve your customers. Auditing the current system will show how customers are currently served and identify any gaps. This assessment plays a crucial role in deciding the next steps.
- Organizations use technology solutions to balance consistency and flexibility. This helps them improve their speed-to-market capabilities and stay competitive.
- Organizations must adopt a comprehensive approach to technology investments to meet the high expectations of customers.
- Incorporating primary speed-to-market goals from day one will ensure a comprehensive understanding of the customer and their needs.
3. Budget Carefully
Organizations should carefully analyze cost/benefit analysis and corporate ROI thresholds before starting a project to create budgetary parameters.
- Organizations can use a modeling technique to estimate project effort, development hours, staff size, risk propensity, and hardware requirements.
- It is important to also consider the required amount of staff hours in order to uphold the desired timeline. Not allocating enough resources can lead to missed deadlines and extra costs.
- It’s also important to consider all the costs involved, both upfront and hidden, as well as the ongoing expenses such as maintenance, upgrades, and support staff. Project the costs for the next three to five years in the operational budget plans.
4. Prioritize Security at All Levels
When deploying a new business application, it is crucial to ensure that security best practices are not compromised in any way. In fact, the application should effortlessly integrate with and adhere to the existing security standards, leaving no room for vulnerabilities. During a deployment period, robust security becomes even more crucial.
- The software provider should thoroughly evaluate the level of security and compliance necessary for the organization.
- Using vital security tools like multifactor authentication can enhance security against cyber threats.
- It is important to control access to data and be able to change and revoke permissions as required.
5. Adjust Integration Parameters
Review the current technology stack to understand the required integration level for implementation. Evaluate the benefits, challenges, and costs associated with it. The level of integration will determine the number of additional hours needed to ensure that all systems are fully operational.
Before launching your business application solution, it is crucial to conduct load testing and carefully analyze its behavior. This includes comparing it against your initial requirements, as well as assessing how it performs in typical daily scenarios and business processes.
- Understanding the benefits of a new technology is crucial for its successful deployment in an organization.
- Businesses can effectively evaluate the current and future effectiveness of the new system by carefully examining its capabilities in relation to the original requirements.
Social Impact of Information Technology
Society is constantly being affected by technological advancements, which are ever-evolving. The social impact of technology is increasing as people’s lives become more digitally connected.
As technology improves, society will benefit from more opportunities for those prepared to take advantage of them.
Technology has revolutionized communication and interaction by providing platforms for creating social spaces and sharing personal data online. The societal influence of technology will undoubtedly expand and evolve as time goes on.
Impact Of Technology on Economy
Technology has a profound social impact that is evident through its significant influence on the economy. The extensive adoption of technology by both companies and individuals has resulted in a significant reduction in business costs.
Furthermore, the internet has significantly diminished the expenses associated with disseminating information nationwide. As a result, the economy has experienced a significant boost in economic activity nationwide.
Impact on Education
The influence of technology on education cannot be underestimated. With the rise of computers and the accompanying advancements like the Internet, the educational landscape has experienced an extraordinary transformation.
With the increased accessibility of advanced technology, the realm of higher education has also expanded.
Simultaneously, the swift proliferation of the Internet has significantly diminished obstacles for smaller enterprises and fostered the birth of fresh entrepreneurial ventures. This combination has led to the increased number of businesses that are available to consumers online.