Information and communications technology (ICT) has transformed society over the last 30 years. ICT not only ushered in the information age, but ICT-based technologies have also been instrumental in enabling the research, development and growth of technologies in many other fields such as applied science, engineering, health and transport. Consequently, we have chosen to focus solely on ICT for the purposes of this report.
The exponential growth in the volume and speed of access to information and communication has numerous effects. It can generate new markets and challenge existing institutions. Unlike some other trends, there are no clear indications of enabling technologies shaping the future of government more so in one region than another. While developed countries may have greater access to many of these technologies at present, many technological innovations provide 'leapfrog' opportunities for less developed countries to capitalize on new and changing markets. For example, regions with no previous dense telecommunications networks such as Africa have benefited more than those countries which already had fixed line telecommunications.