“Going digital” means having a digital transformation where, people or organization implements digital technologies in almost every area of their activities to build viable and sustainable relationship, in order to connect with various other people or stakeholders. Digital transformation is regarded as an effective and convenient force that ensures low-cost streaming of internal/external activities with better customer experience.
Compared to a decade ago, we have come way too further when it comes to technological advantages. With constant research and development, latest innovations and the customer demand, the technology of today is so advanced that it is beyond imagination of anyone from the past, even for those who just grew up in late 20th century, in the 90s. As at the moment, the mega-giant business enterprises are the ones who have their sole presence on the digital platform, for instance, Facebook, Google, and TikTok. And, it seems like to have an infinite trend where almost every new business is now based on online services. Even the normal, regular businesses have their presence on every required digital platform despite having their physical presence in the real world, with showrooms or stores.
Moreover currently, the most common digital gadget that is own by every other individual, is a smartphone. According to Statista 2020, in the past 5 years, about 1.4 billion smartphones were sold worldwide annually. The software and the technologies used on smartphones or any other gadgets, are so much advanced that it feels like a human version of its own, it can talk and have a conversation with us (Siri and Cortana), it can store data and analyze it within a few seconds, it can track humans or anything we want and, there are so many other things that it can do, which is absolutely amazing to witness.
Yet, despite all these advancements and, the wide involvement of almost every individual around the world into technology, not everyone has an equal opportunity to access it. Like any other thing (food, shelter, water etc), the presence and opportunity to access digital advancement is also spread in a scattered manner, where the people of the developed nation are digitally empowered than that of developing and underdeveloped nations.
Unlike, the developing and underdeveloped nations have no access to digital advancement but, surely the cost and the opportunity to access it is very high and limited. Worldwide, Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, is recognized as the most digitally advanced nation in the world. Estonia has a perfect model of digital governance, with government e-services, e-voting, e-banking, e-healthcare, e-education, e-transport facilities, and many more. And, according to UNESCO, Estonia has 99.8 percent of adult literacy rate, the highest in the world, supported by their digital advancement.
Besides, Finland is another nation that is highly advanced when it comes to digital accessibility in Europe. Finland, with its 2010 policy have legalized the right for every citizen to have access to a broadband connection, being the first country in the world to do so. The quality and the speed of the internet in Finland are of no match compared to any other nation, with sustainable and safer digital accessibility.
Further, based on these two exemplary nations, Estonia and Finland, here are a few basic things that can be implemented in order to provide equal and better digital accessibility to each individual from every nation. First, awareness of the importance of going digital, the government, or any authorized bodies must be aware of the usages and the importance of digitalization, along with the proper study on the possible negative sides of it. They must also acknowledge the presence and the involvement of their citizen on any digitalized platform, and conduct proper research to create further plans, in order to initiate equal digital accessibility.
Simultaneously, Digital Literacy is something that the authorities must focus on, as equally as they do to the importance of education or any other basic needs. Based on The COVID-19 situation, the whole world has come to alignment in order to go digital as the physical interaction is very complex and difficult to deport in a way, we did it in the past. So, it is important for everyone to learn the basics, which includes “the ability to read and interpret media, to reprice data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.”
The digital literacy, will help people move beyond normal use of social media for those who already have digital accessibility, and for those who do not, it will create awareness and steer to normalize the use and importance of it. For instance, as people get aware and go digital, the demand increases, and as per simple economy rule, as the demand increases the cost of it decreases. Thus, it becomes easier for the authorities and the government to navigate the requirement and make it accessible to everyone.
Likewise, for equal digital accessibility, it is important to prioritize “inclusivity and connectivity”. As, to go digital, the prime thing to have is the advancement on the communication and electrical infrastructure. So, it is important and is also an opportunity for any entrepreneurs and business houses to invest and steer the digital revolution with guaranteed return due to high customer involvement and engagement.
The investment made on the communication sector and electrical infrastructure directly amplifies the digitalization process, creating furthermore opportunities for all in terms of business, development and societal evolution increasing the chance of equal digital accessibility for all. Because, as more enterprise involves creating these opportunities, and the access to the internet or any digital entities become more affordable and inclusive. Additionally, it also helps to overcome the barriers of challenges raised from ICT design and user interface, providing more access to the virtue of language, capacity and disability (UNICEF, 2020).
Other than that, for the ease, the developing nations can also adapt “Zero-Rating Services”, which is a mobile network operators and internet service providers that offer users free access to particular services and applications, also known as sponsored data, given to network operators with the funds accumulated for sponsored content. However, despite being a cost-effective measure, Zero-rating Services have its own backlashes, as many accuse that it “distort competition, thwart innovation, threaten free speech and restrict consumer choice”.
Nonetheless, Facebook has launched its service in Nigeria, allowing the Nigerian people to have direct access to the world in one click, though the criticism remains the same, where Facebook is accused of stereotyping and influencing the digital consumption of Nigerian people.
Besides all, having equal digital accessibility allows the people to walk hand in hand with the world, no matter where they come from. Therefore, KAii also supports the idea of providing equal and advanced digital accessibility to the people with its “Better World Goal”. KAii aims to support the ongoing technical revolution and urges to grab the opportunities that digitalization can create in our society. Moreover, understanding the situation created during this world pandemic, Covid-19, KAii aims to bring every enthusiastic entrepreneur together to create a digital world that is “warped with quality service, in terms of training, digital literacy, maintenance of technology, and execution of viable ideas that provides sustainable benefits to ensure digitalized network neutrality,to bring the world closer and together.”