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OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015

image of OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015

The digital economy now permeates countless aspects of the world economy, impacting sectors as varied as banking, retail, energy, transportation, education, publishing, media or health. Information and Communication Technologies are transforming the ways social interactions and personal relationships are conducted, with fixed, mobile and broadcast networks converging, and devices and objects increasingly connected to form the Internet of things.

This report assesses how countries can maximise the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth, and discusses the evolutions in the digital economy that policy makers need to consider as well as the emerging challenges they need to address as a part of national digital strategies. Chapters include an overview of the current status and outlook of the digital economy; the main trends in the ICT sector, and developments in communication and regulation policy; and overviews of ICT demand and adoption, plus the effects of the digital economy on growth and development. This volume also includes a chapter on developments related to trust in the digital economy and on the emerging Internet of things.

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Emerging issues: The Internet of Things

This chapter explores convergence between ICTs and the economy on a grand scale, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The term implies the connection of most devices and objects over time to a network of networks. It encompasses developments in machine-to-machine communication, the cloud, big data and sensors, actuators and people. This convergence will lead to machine learning, remote control and eventually autonomous machines and systems. Estimates indicate that 25 billion devices could be connected by 2020, but challenges remain in gathering concrete and accurate data on the widespread use of IoT technology, now and in the future. Adoption will depend to a large extent on the capacity of governments to create an adequate regulatory framework in key areas including telecommunication, privacy and consumer policy.

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