Companies are Taking Steps to Bridge the Digital Divide.
The unprecedented pace of digital transformation witnessed during the pandemic, while good, is exacerbating the digital divide, and the private sector can take a leading role to close the gap.
For example, companies that now perform their operations through automation — with insight from AI and machine learning — should be intentional about creating strong, transparent, and insightful engagement with stakeholders in new ways. Another example: as financial institutions pivot to provide more of their services online, investing in financial literacy offerings to help new customers will be important and impactful, or even better, Cisco’s AACPC Program.
It is also important to note that this digital disparity is not just a problem for retailers, restauranteurs, and consumer goods brands. It’s a gap felt across all industries – from healthcare and education to manufacturing, sports and entertainment, and professional services – that could impact their ability to respond to new opportunities when the economy recovers.
More importantly, digital barriers are removed. This development means that businesses – no matter their size – have the equal opportunity to pivot as quickly as customer preferences change, employee expectations evolve, and market dynamics shift. At this point, their only limitation is their ingenuity, workforce skills and readiness, and willingness to flex operations
Individuals are Taking Steps to Bridge the Digital Divide.
Bridging of the digital divide is both complex and daunting, but there are reasons for hope. Many institutions — both public and private — stand to gain from it being addressed. The pandemic
experience is a reminder of the very real costs of the digital divide that have added up over the years: Schoolchildren without internet access fell behind. Disadvantaged minority populations felt the pinch of inadequate high-speed internet access as jobs and job searches went remote. We now have a rare bipartisan agreement on the urgency of solving the problem. Let’s act on it.