To Become a Leading Information Society, Countries Must Bridge the Digital Divide, IDC and World Times Say

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 4, 2001 – If a nation wants to participate and prosper in today’s global economy, it will first have to bridge its "digital divide." That is, it will need to ensure information and communications technology is available and accessible to all segments of the population. This is a key message of a new IDC/World Times report, which cites Information Society Index (ISI) ratings.


The ISI ranks countries based on their ability to access and absorb information technology and is based on four infrastructure categories: computer, information, Internet, and social. Earlier this year, IDC reported Sweden has earned the highest ISI ranking and the United States fell from the number-two ranking to number four. IDC believes the inability of the United States to bridge the digital divide was a main factor in its ranking slip.

"Because the United States is the largest producer of information technology devices, its fall from second to fourth place in the ISI rankings may seem surprising," said Ludovica Bruno, an analyst with IDC’s IT Markets and Strategies research program. "However, the mere existence of many devices isn’t enough to contribute to the productivity of a nation unless all of its society knows how to use them. The United States must work on bringing technology to the ‘have-nots,’ not just the ‘haves,’ and provide all with the opportunity to prosper in the global economy."

According to IDC, developing an information society is a must for every nation. It’s also a process that is never complete. "An information society is never finished. With new technologies come new opportunities," Bruno said. "A nation’s success lies in having a well-rounded strategy that enables it to evolve with time and effectively embrace change."

IDC’s new report Measuring the Evolution of Information Societies (IDC #B24652) analyzes the progress of countries with regard to various aspects of the information age. The report shows ISI rankings and groups countries according to their progress toward becoming an information society. It is intended to help IT vendors assess market potential of countries and regions worldwide.

To purchase this report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4389, or at

About World Times

World Times Inc. specializes in presenting fresh perspectives on critical global issues through its publication, The WorldPaper, through research such as the ISI and through international conferences. The WorldPaper is distributed as a world affairs section in 24 countries in 5 language editions with a circulation of 2 million. World Times is headquartered in Boston, Mass. World Times Inc. provides additional company information at its Web site (

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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