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One hundred keystone digital companies were benchmarked across four measurement areas: access, skills, use and innovation. The 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.
Companies with corporate headquarters in thirty-three economies are represented in the benchmark with a global footprint extending to almost the entire planet, either through subsidiaries, supply chains and countries where the products are bought and used. Companies have been classified into geographies for analytical purposes. Due to the large number of digital companies included from mainland China and the United States, they are shown separately.
The regional filter ‘other’ refers to Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada. Companies from Hong Kong SAR, China and Taiwan, China have been classified in Asia due to the different legal environments they operate under.
Digital companies vary widely in their activities. Some manufacture equipment, some provide telecommunication services, some offer information technology (IT) or digitally-enabled services while others carry out two or more of these activities. Given the significant functional differences among digital companies, they have been classified into three industries:
- hardware, consisting of the manufacture of digital goods such as end-user devices, network equipment and semiconductors
- telecommunication services
- software and IT services, consisting of software applications, data centres, cloud computing and platform services.
When companies provide diverse products, they are classified in the industry from which they derived the most revenues in the most recent accounting year.