The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

Sponsored Content

itu-telecom-world-2016-signing-ceremony__

ITU Telecom World 2016 Signing Ceremony © ITU

What’s the future for the connected car, for digital financial services, or for smart and sustainable cities in the new industrial reality? How are innovations and technical developments in 5G, the Internet of Things and spectrum management impacting on future networks and future businesses? And if meaningful, affordable connectivity is the single best bet for accelerating socio-economic development and meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), how can we ensure we reach the billions of unconnected most in need?

These are some of the key questions at the heart of the agenda at ITU Telecom World 2016, four days of debate, networking and exhibition on the theme of “Collaborating in the Digital Ecosystem.” In an industry and era of intense transformation, collaboration is essential to make sense of the possibilities – and make a success of it for us all.

Rapid technological developments, societal changes and radical new business models are enriching and enlarging the ICT ecosystem. Never before has connectivity offered so much potential for economic growth and social development in the digital economy. And never before have the challenges of extending that connectivity to all been so pressing, from providing universal access to technology to meaningful local content, fair and open competition, up-to-date regulation, security and education.

More and new stakeholders are involved in making it happen. Governments decide policy and shape regulation. Major ICT companies face competition from new internet players and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs). New technologies open up new markets, often involving new partners in vertical sectors such as transport, health or agriculture. The borderless world of the digital economy opens up business in developed and emerging markets across the globe.

Finding the right public sector policies, the business models and market strategies for success may not be easy. It will certainly involve new approaches to cross-sector partnerships, whether between public and private organizations, or between new industries or market players. The benefits of collaboration need to be balanced against competition, commercial interests and embedded cultures.

A good example is 5G. As the technology evolves and develops to meet the growing demands of societies and economies, so does the potential for new opportunities. Delivering on the promise of effective future networks won’t be possible, however, without some form of collaboration on the standards that take solutions to scale and at speed. The mix of players, established and new, manufacturers, vendors and application developers, may lead to interesting joint ventures to streamline investment. The long-heralded convergence of fixed broadcast and mobile may be given a boost by the new technology. But then again, competition and entrenched mindsets may kill off any new form of shared investment or working together.

Or take the connected car. Intelligent transport systems and self-driving vehicles are speeding towards widespread commercialization. The focus is on developing communication technologies that use the internet to integrate cars with smart devices – bringing a whole range of new players into the mix. Car manufacturers and suppliers must negotiate and collaborate with app developers, communication technology companies and OS developers. Combining such different industries, cultures, regulatory and business approaches as software and automotive cannot be without challenges. And given the key issues of security, safety, liability and public policy, it’s clear that the government will have an important role to play, too.

The same balance between opportunity and challenge, between collaboration and competition and between multiple, often new, stakeholders applies to digital financial services. In a world where around 2 billion adults have no access to basic financial services, digital technology has the unprecedented potential to offer secure, cheap and reliable transactions for the unbanked or underbanked. Financial inclusion is a critical step to socio-economic development. Leapfrogging traditional banking to deliver financial services can have a profound impact on the underprivileged throughout the emerging world.

But success here relies on the creation of a new ecosystem of government, business and individuals – centred around a sound working relationship between financial and ICT sectors. In its early stages of development, the market calls for convergence between mobile network operators, banks, microfinance institutions, payment platform providers and payment services providers. This dizzying array of players and potential partnerships must establish joined-up regulatory approaches, standards to enable cross-market interoperability, and accepted international good practice. All of which is not possible without collaboration.

The smart integration of manufacturing and advanced information and communication technology – or Industry 4.0 – is making it possible to deliver tailored products to individual customer specifications at low cost and in high quality. The impact on companies, economies and societies across the globe is potentially enormous. But this, too, depends on the harmonious and fruitful coming together of a number of players, orchestrated to different degrees in different markets by committed government leadership.

The digital economy is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth worldwide. ICTs have tremendous potential to improve development outcomes in both emerging and developed markets, from measuring progress and success in the meeting the UN’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of development initiatives, and providing access to a whole new range of digitally-enabled products and services which strengthen local economies, innovation and communities. Meeting the SDGs through ICTs, however, will only be possible if the industry can work together with corporate social responsibility departments, public sector, non-governmental and development organizations to build feasible business models.

Any way you look, across all fields of ICT activity, in the macro digital economy and in the detail of each potential future market, it’s all about working together. Finding new partners, exploiting new opportunities, considering new stakeholders and new markets. Using new services, segments, solutions and devices to drive revenue and increase socio-economic development.

But will there be stronger collaboration or will industry players default to a winner-takes-all approach? How clear are the benefits of working together both within the telco sector and with web players, disruptive market entrants, customers and the open source community, to stimulate and sustain growth in the industry?

How can public policies and industry incentives attract investment into the network infrastructure and technologies that are the backbone to the digital economy? Can cross-regional, even international, initiatives maximize opportunities at scale? And what are the key innovative technologies and collaborative initiatives focused on expanding connectivity through access, affordability and relevance?

These are the questions that the Forum debates at ITU Telecom World 2016 will discuss, with expert speakers, international perspectives and a unique audience of public and private sector leaders from emerging and developed markets, from SMEs fresh to the market to established major corporate players. The event itself works on the principle of collaboration, of coming together face-to-face, of meeting, exchanging knowledge, ideas and experiences, debating, working together – the very principle of collaboration on which the future success of the industry, our societies, economies and world may be built.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What we’ve learned about mental health from young people

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

COVID-19 is widening the education gap. This is how we can stop it

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: prizewinning journalists freed in Myanmar, new tracking tool for suspected terrorists, and a global bid to stop snakebite deaths

General Data Protection Regulation shows results, but work needs to continue

Medical education during COVID-19 pandemic

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

Deep chasm still divides Athens and Brussels; can Eurozone use the nuclear arm of liquidity against Greece?

3 reasons why most Africans aren’t on the internet – and how to connect them

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

Attempt to defy international law over Golan Heights sovereignty ‘doomed to failure’ Security Council hears

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

4 steps to developing responsible AI

Statement by the European Commission following the first meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee

Top UN official urges Russia and Ukraine to step away from further confrontation at sea

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Following the World Cup? Then you’re watching high-performing migrants at work

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Violence against women a ‘mark of shame’ on our societies, says UN chief on World Day

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

State aid: Commission approves €286 million Finnish measure to recapitalise Finnair

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

Is a 3-day split week the way to get people back to work?

‘All efforts must be made’ to ensure peaceful elections for Guinea-Bissau, Security Council hears

These countries have the best work-life balance

Gender Equality Index 2019: Still far from the finish line

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

The ‘American Dream’ can be best achieved in the Nordic nations, says Finland’s PM

“China needs to convince the EU that it is worth having an investment agreement” but not the EU to convince China? China-EU Leaders’ Meeting 2020 calls for mutual “transparency, reciprocity and respect”

More than 30 years of US trade with China, in one chart

The dark side of Diwali, festival of lights

Emergency coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

If people aren’t responding to climate warnings, we need to change the message

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

3 ways to fight stress at work

‘More support’ vital to put Afghanistan back on a ‘positive trajectory’ – top UN officials

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Effective multilateralism the antidote to today’s ‘divisions’, Holy See tells UN Assembly

Building climate resilience and peace, go hand in hand for Africa’s Sahel – UN forum

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

Protests and civil unrest show ‘renewed sense of patriotism’ in Iraq, UN envoy tells Security Council

Just transition in EU regions: support to people, economy and environment

Are ECB’s €500 billion enough to revive Eurozone? Will the banks pass it to the real economy?

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Largest joint UN humanitarian convoy of the war, reaches remote Syrian settlement

From ‘strength to strength’ UN-African Union security partnership growing, Security Council hears

State aid: Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support Nordica in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

EU Budget 2020 deal: Investing more in climate action, youth and research

European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s