Measuring the world’s 100 most influential tech companies

In 2020 the World Benchmarking Alliance’s first Digital Inclusion Benchmark ranks 100 of the world’s most influential technology companies on four areas of digital inclusion:

  1. enhancing universal access to digital technologies
  2. improving all levels of digital skills.
  3. fostering trustworthy use by mitigating risks and harms
  4. innovating openly, inclusively, and ethically.

The global pandemic has highlighted the urgency of digital inclusion, as we increasingly rely on digital technologies to stay connected, purchase daily necessities, and access healthcare and education. However, this accelerated digitalisation is accompanied by widening digital divides that lock billions of people out of the digital economy. Furthermore, trust in technology is fraying as citizens and governments wake up to the risks and harms of its unexamined and unrestrained applications.

Five key findings

The Digital Inclusion Benchmark results show that commitment and contribution towards digital inclusion is highly uneven across industries in the digital sector, measurement areas, and markets of operation. While a few leading companies comprehensively demonstrate best practices, most have yet to embrace digital inclusion as a core responsibility.

Key finding

Software and IT services companies have some growing up to do

Software and IT service companies are lagging with an average score of only 0.53 out of 2 (27%) compared to 0.82 (41%) for hardware companies and 0.85 (43%) for telecommunications providers. Many software and IT service companies, especially the platform giants, are the youngest in the sector, having only been founded since the commercialisation of the internet. To mature into responsible corporate citizens they need to learn from digital inclusion best practices of other industries in the digital sector.

Key finding

Clear and consistent support to improve digital skills needed, especially for women and girls  

Out of the four digital inclusion measurement areas, companies scored lowest in ‘improving all levels of digital skills’, with an average score of 0.57 out of 2 (29%). The development of basic digital literacy programs is a particular area that the digital sector will need to focus on in order to leave no one behind in a digital world. There is also an opportunity for companies to help bridge the gender digital divide, through initiatives that target skills training for women and girls. In order to improve their efforts, digital technology companies need to be more transparent about their contribution and engage third parties for an objective evaluation of impacts.

Key finding

Ethics require an urgent update to match our rapidly evolving digital age

While digital technologies do much to benefit the world, they also pose risks such as the loss of jobs, insecure employment and the spread of false information, whilst the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation raise concerns about potential harms related to fairness, bias and agency, to name a few.  Of the 100 companies assessed, 55 had ethics oversight at a senior level but only 16 had an ethics policy for AI, of which only four are software and IT services companies. Traditional ethical issues such as bribery, corruption and harassment are often covered but ethical issues arising from AI and disruptive technologies also need urgent attention.

Key finding

Online child safety should be a concern of all technology companies, but it isn’t

All digital technology companies impact child online safety, whether directly through product features and control over data flows, or indirectly through the supply chain. Only 16 digital companies of the 100 assessed demonstrated a high-level commitment to child online protection. If all technology companies make this commitment, together they can play a key role in protecting children online worldwide, by raising awareness and attracting resources to deal with the problem.

Key finding

Best practice means staying ahead of the regulatory curve

Global leadership entails forward-looking company policies and actions that stay ahead of the regulatory curve. Leading companies are those that are adopting a principled and harmonized approach towards issues such as privacy rights, cybersecurity, child online protection, among many others. The 2020 Digital Inclusion Benchmarks results provide the starting point from which the digital sector can show improvements in the coming year and demonstrate their willingness and effort to self-regulate as responsible corporate citizens. Lack of tangible progress should require governments to step in with regulation and enforcement to ensure a safe and trustworthy digital system that leaves no one behind.

Find out the performance of the 100 most influential digital companies

Go to ranking

The 100 most influential digital companies

Locations

  • Title: Oracle
    Place: Redwood Shores, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Orange
    Place: Paris, France
    Description:
  • Title: PayPal
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: PCCW
    Place: Hong Kong, China
    Description:
  • Title: PLDT
    Place: Makati, Philippines
    Description:
  • Title: Qualcomm
    Place: San Diego, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Rogers
    Place: Toronto, ON, Canada
    Description:
  • Title: Safaricom
    Place: Nairobi, Kenya
    Description:
  • Title: Salesforce
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Samsung
    Place: Seoul, Republic of Korea
    Description:
  • Title: SAP
    Place: Waldorf, Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Sina
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Singtel
    Place: Singapore
    Description:
  • Title: SK hynix
    Place: Incheon, Republic of Korea
    Description:
  • Title: SK Telecom
    Place: Seoul, Republic of Korea
    Description:
  • Title: SoftBank
    Place: Tokyo, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: SpaceX
    Place: Hawthorne, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Spotify
    Place: Stockholm, Sweden
    Description:
  • Title: Tata Communications
    Place: Mumbai, India
    Description:
  • Title: Telecom Italia
    Place: Rome, Italy
    Description:
  • Title: Telefónica
    Place: Madrid, Spain
    Description:
  • Title: Telenor
    Place: Fornebu, Norway
    Description:
  • Title: Telia
    Place: Stockholm, Sweden
    Description:
  • Title: Telkom Indonesia
    Place: Bandung, Indonesia
    Description:
  • Title: Telstra
    Place: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
    Description:
  • Title: Tencent
    Place: Shenzhen, China
    Description:
  • Title: Texas Instruments
    Place: Dallas, TX, USA
    Description:
  • Title: TSMC
    Place: Taiwan
    Description:
  • Title: Türk Telekom
    Place: Altindag (Ankara), Turkey
    Description:
  • Title: Twitter
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Uber
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: VEON
    Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Description:
  • Title: Verizon
    Place: New York, NY, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Vodafone
    Place: Newbury, United Kingdom
    Description:
  • Title: Western Digital
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Xiaomi
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: ZTE
    Place: Shenzhen, China
    Description:
  • Title: Digicel
    Place: Kingston, Jamaica
    Description:
  • Title: Digital Realty Trust
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: eBay
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: EchoStar
    Place: Englewood, CO, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Equinix
    Place: Redwood City, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Ericsson
    Place: Stockholm, Sweden
    Description:
  • Title: Etisalat
    Place: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    Description:
  • Title: Facebook
    Place: Santa Clara, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Foxconn
    Place: Taiwan
    Description:
  • Title: Grab
    Place: Singapore
    Description:
  • Title: GTT
    Place: Mclean, VA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: HCL
    Place: Noida, India
    Description:
  • Title: HP
    Place: Palo Alto, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Huawei
    Place: Shenzhen, China
    Description:
  • Title: IBM
    Place: Armonk, NY, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Infosys
    Place: Bangaluru, India
    Description:
  • Title: Intel
    Place: Santa Clara, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: JD.com
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Jio
    Place: Mumbai, India
    Description:
  • Title: Jumia
    Place: Lagos, Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: KDDI
    Place: Tokyo, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Lenovo
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Meituan
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Mercado Libre
    Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Description:
  • Title: Microsoft
    Place: Redmond, WA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Millicom
    Place: Luxembourg
    Description:
  • Title: MTN
    Place: Johannesburg, South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: MTS
    Place: Moscow, Russia
    Description:
  • Title: Naspers
    Place: Cape Town, South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: NetEase
    Place: Hangzhou, China
    Description:
  • Title: Netflix
    Place: Los Gatos, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Nokia
    Place: Helsinki, Finland
    Description:
  • Title: NTT
    Place: Tokyo, Japan
    Description:
  • Title: NVIDIA
    Place: Santa Clara, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Ola
    Place: Bangalore, India
    Description:
  • Title: Ooredoo
    Place: Doha, Qatar
    Description:
  • Title: Adobe
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Airbnb
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Akamai
    Place: Boston, MA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Alibaba
    Place: Hangzhou, China
    Description:
  • Title: Alphabet
    Place: Mountain View, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Amazon
    Place: Seattle, WA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: AMD
    Place: Santa Clara, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: América Móvil
    Place: Mexico City, Mexico
    Description:
  • Title: Apple
    Place: Cupertino, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: AT&T
    Place: Dallas, TX, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Axiata
    Place: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Description:
  • Title: Baidu
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: Bharti Airtel
    Place: New Delhi, India
    Description:
  • Title: Booking Holdings
    Place: Norwalk, CT, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Broadcom
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: ByteDance
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: CenturyLink
    Place: Monroe, LA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: China Mobile
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Satcom
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Telecom
    Place: Beijing, China
    Description:
  • Title: China Unicom
    Place: Hong Kong, China
    Description:
  • Title: Cisco
    Place: San Jose, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Citrix
    Place: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Cloudflare
    Place: San Francisco, CA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Comcast
    Place: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Dell
    Place: Round Rock, TX, USA
    Description:
  • Title: Deutsche Telekom
    Place: Bonn, Germany
    Description:

Further reading

  • Synthesis report

    This report presents the results of our first Digital Inclusion Benchmark. It presents the performance of 100 keystone digital companies against 16 indicators in the four measurement areas: access, skills, use and innovation.

    Go to the synthesis report here