Recogido por La Nación, El Cronista, Economía y Negocios: un estudio comparativo de veinticinco países emergentes, elaborado por el profesor Leonard Waverman y otros colaboradores para Nokia Siemens Networks y la consultora LECG, segrega las cifras de crecimiento de telefonía, Internet, y tecnologías de la información en general. La conclusión corta es que en Latinoamérica, empresas y gobiernos marchan por detrás del crecimiento del conjunto social. Crece la cantidad de teléfonos móviles, las conexiones de banda ancha, el número total de personas conectadas, pero especialmente entre particulares. En el caso de empresas y gobierno, no es así. Esto no debería ser una novedad, a poco de tratar de utilizar recursos tecnológicos para comunicarse o tomar servicios con empresas y gobierno. Sobre este costado han trabajado casi todos los resúmenes de prensa latinoamericanos (1, 2, 3, 4, por ejemplo).
Pero sin embargo, en el informe hay mucho más para evaluar el potencial de los países analizados, y para dar el lugar adecuado a los análisis de crecimiento tecnológico (por ejemplo, las periódicas estadísticas de evolución de uso de la banda ancha).
En primer lugar, qué entiende el informe por conectividad:
Connectivity is usually understood to be the copper wires, fibre-optic cables and networked computers, and more recently mobile phones and base stations that enable the fast flow of information regardless of distance. The associated costs are much lower than the costs of physical travel, and much lower than these costs were just 15 or 20 years ago. Connectivity is the key enabler of the flow of information that defines modern economies, and it is the key enabler of an ongoing (and sometimes overlooked) transformation in the economic fortunes of many Asian and African countries.El estudio, así, establece criterios (cuyas fórmulas de cálculo y peso son bien explicados en el prólogo y los apéndices del informe) que miden la "conectividad útil":
We define “connectivity” in a much broader way to embrace more than just infrastructure and hardware. The notion of connectivity should be expanded to include also the complementary assets (software) and skills — embodied in people, governments and businesses — that determine just how productively the hardware and infrastructure are used.
In summary, we use the term “connectivity” to refer to the totality of interaction between a nation’s telecommunications infrastructure, hardware, software, networks, and users of these networks, hardware and software. Thus broadband lines, PCs, advanced corporate data networks and advanced use of wireless data services are certainly measures of connectivity, but so are human skills relevant to the usage of these infrastructures, technologies and networks.
[Conectividad útil refiere a ] the ability of connectivity to contribute to economic growth, especially through improvements in productivity that are widely held to be the key to sustained economic prosperity. The concept of “useful connectivity” is first and foremost an attempt to recognise that the economic value generated by connectivity depends not just on conventional measures such as broadband lines or computers connected, but also on who is using those lines—businesses or consumers—and how well they are able to use the lines (captured by measures such as user skills, software assets, use of voice-over-IP and the number of intranet hosts per capita). (...) The Scorecard aims to measure “useful connectivity” by making a link between connectivity and economic performance.Describiendo los objetivos del análisis, los autores describen cómo trataron de capturar la información:
[...] Thus in constructing a scorecard that purported to measure “useful connectivity”, we wanted to take into account not just how many broadband lines were being deployed, but who was using those broadband lines—businesses or consumers? How smart were the uses of these lines—for example, what proportion of the workforce had what the European Commission’s i2010 research programme describes as “ICT user skills?” [ICT = Information, Computers, Telecommunications]
Thus the Connectivity Scorecard methodology:Sobre la muestra utilizada, que tiene particular importancia para el mundo iberoamericano, los autores dicen:
• divided the economy into the consumer sector, the business sector, and the government sector,
• gave weights to the consumer sector, business sector and government sector that matched their importance in economic activity,
• split each of the consumer, business and government categories into “infrastructure” and “usage and skills” components and allocated individual measures to either of these two sub-categories3, and
• allocated weights to the “infrastructure” and “usage and skills” categories.
A wide range of individual measures/metrics/indicators was selected, reflecting elements of both infrastructure and usage. A full list of these indicators is presented after the tables and figures in Section 4 of this report – ‘Connectivity Scorecard 2009’.
The weighting of the infrastructure and usage and skills categories was based upon economic considerations and are unique in the literature. First, the weights for each sector are country-specific and are drawn from national GNP accounts. The weights for the infrastructure versus skills subcomponents used data from research into the sources of productivity enhancement.
Thus the selection of categories, sub-categories and weights reflects an ambitious attempt to capture whether countries are investing in the right places, are matching their infrastructure investment with the right skills, and whether they are succeeding in enabling adequate levels of both access to, and usage of, key technologies.
In January 2008 we computed two separate Connectivity Scorecards—the first for a group of 16 countries, covering mostly the innovation-driven (Tier 3) economies but also some economies that are making the transition towards being innovation-driven: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Korea are examples. The second Connectivity Scorecard covers nine countries, and uses different assessment metrics.Los autores sugieren potenciales positivos del estudio:
The countries covered by the second Scorecard are resource and efficiency-driven economies. The terms “resource and efficiency-driven” and “innovation-driven” are borrowed from the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s classification.
[El estudio de este año 2009 incluye veinticinco países por tipo de muestra, y amplía el número de indicadores]
[Refiriéndose a los cambios en el nuevo análisis 2009]
The other “novelty” in the weighting system was the manner in which we allocated weights to the “business infrastructure” and “business usage and skills” sub-indices. These weights were based on the relative contribution of information technology investment and increases in the quality of the workforce to economic growth. Where such refined splits were not obtainable (e.g. for the resource and efficiency-driven economies) we used data on the relative contribution of overall capital investment and labour composition to overall economic growth. The idea behind this methodology was to utilise some notion of how much of economic growth has been driven by improvements in infrastructure versus how much has been driven by improvements in the quality of the users of that infrastructure (the work-force).
Given that ours is a composite measure of connectivity which links usefulness to economic performance, there are major economic gains to be had from improving connectivity (as we define it). For example, a well-known study in the United States (by Crandall and Jackson) put the long-term benefits to the U.S. of increased broadband penetration at $500 billion. Holistic improvements in performance could yield long-term economic gains that are multiples of the figure obtained by Crandall and Jackson.Patrones extraíbles de los resultados de 2009:
The 2008 Connectivity Scorecard showed that there is much untapped potential in even the most advanced markets. Countries that one normally thinks of as highly connected still score poorly on this scorecard. For example, Korea has a relatively low spend on certain business telephony measures, suggesting that there is considerable room for growth, given the size and wealth of the country and the quality of some of the supporting infrastructure. Likewise, there is still potential for extensive new infrastructure deployments and far more intensive usage of technology in the United States, the country that ranked first on the 2008 Connectivity Scorecard. Notably, the United States did not rank first in any of the three components – business, consumer and government – but did well enough on all three to be first overall
[Conclusiones en base al análisis...]
Governments and policy-makers
“Policy-makers need to evaluate where their country falls short in connectivity performance and strive to either develop the infrastructure and complementary assets that would facilitate better performance, or eliminate the barriers and rigidities that prevent it. A lot of the necessary change will not be easy in the short term, and it may require governments to remove (for example) the barriers that make it harder for businesses to re-organise themselves around ICT, or the import tariffs that protect domestic producers but cost societies much more by raising the price of access and usage of the relevant infrastructure.”
“Businesses clearly have a role to play. The economic gains described above are gains to both consumers and to businesses, which are able to perform much more efficiently if they use more technology more effectively. Businesses also have to accept change, while perhaps investing more in “complementary capital”, such as worker training, which will enable them to reap larger benefits from technology.
Further, businesses have to show imagination in the way they use technology. As a complement to the first Connectivity Scorecard, we surveyed IT managers who operated internationally to gauge their satisfaction with the fixed-line and mobile infrastructures and services offered in a range of countries. Somewhat to our surprise, most were quite satisfied with the state of affairs they found. This could suggest that the low scores on our Scorecard are misleading, but it more likely suggests that businesses do not grasp that even existing technologies can be used much more intensively. For example, some mobile banking services and electronic transaction services are better developed in African countries than in the U.S. or Canada.”
The Telecommunications industry
“For telecommunications operators, the Connectivity Scorecard shows that few markets are truly “saturated.” Operators will have to look at the specific strengths and weaknesses of each country and spot the potential for expansion. In India, there are opportunities everywhere — to expand the existing coverage of mobile and broadband networks, and to increase the usage of these technologies from the existing revenue base. However, other less prominent emerging markets also have significant infrastructure and connectivity needs, and operators may benefit from moving early to convert those needs into opportunities. In addition, we emphasise “useful connectivity”, – i.e., the ability of connectivity to contribute to economic growth. Hence, there is much room for operators to assist firms by providing best-in-class training in usage. Thus
operators need to re-focus their attention on the kind of sales that take into account this
concept of useful connectivity.”
• Relatively low average scores, especially for the resource and efficiency-drivenUna conclusión específica para el grupo de países emergentes:
economies (Table, “Results of Connectivity Scorecard 2009” on page 17). The median score for the innovation-driven economies is 5.37. The median score for the resource and efficiency-driven economies is lower, at 3.60. This suggests a greater gulf between the best-performing resource and efficiency-driven economies and the rest of the group, while there is significantly less (but still substantial) dispersion in the performance of the innovation-driven economies;
• Relatively high levels of correlation with GDP per capita, the UN Human Development Index, and other measures of general development, wealth and technology deployment.
The tendency for countries to achieve low scores is especially pronounced in the resource and efficiency-driven economies. There is also a suggestion that there are clearer constraints on performance for some countries. For the bottom 5 or 6 performers, it is very difficult to separate out ICT or connectivity from the overall developmental challenges that these countries face. It may well be the case that any effort to kick-start economic growth by investing heavily in connectivity-related infrastructure may provide only a limited return as the human capital and infrastructure capital—roads, electricity, schools— that is required to successfully utilise connectivity infrastructure will remain under-developed. This is best illustrated by the case of India, which may be a “tech powerhouse” in some respects, but also suffers from enormous problems relating to basic infrastructure and services. Connectivity and ICT can be an mportant part of economic growth for India, but at some point, connectivity will invariably be limited by the fact that there are large swathes of Indian society that do not have the human capital or the infrastructure (reliable power supply, for example) to make the most of connectivityEsto es lo general, que hace este análisis especialmente interesante. Hay conclusiones particulares que merecerían tomarse por separado. Veremos si es posible.
Una puntualización: España es rankeada, y no muy positivamente, entre las economías desarrolladas. No sé por qué, pero prácticamente no he visto menciones al informe. No creo que se trate de esconderlo; parece más bien que pasó desapercibido. Sea como sea, ni este hecho, ni sus resultados en el informe, son buenos indicadores.
Versión en el sitio Nokia-Siemens.
Versión descargable del documento en El Cronista.