Economic Aspects of Information and Communication Technologies and Their Impact on Contemporary Society

Topics: European Union, European Commission, European Parliament Pages: 11 (3802 words) Published: March 20, 2012
M. E. Moraliyska[1]
Abstract

In contemporary world information and communication technologies (ICT) have a significant impact on the society and its way of life. The usage of ICT technologies and applications is becoming more and more common in everyday life and work, and more and more hopes and plans are devoted to their future development and application in the fight with different technical, economic, social and other problems. This paper analyzes the economic aspects of contemporary ICT - spheres of application (transport, energy, health, education, etc), scope and mechanisms of interaction. Attention is put on the economic aspects of ICT - consumer choice, price and level of market competition. There is also an accent on investment in ICT, taking into account the consequences of the current economic and financial crisis and its impact (through ICT) on the European society in the short-run.

Keywords and phrases: Information and communication technologies (ICT), economic aspects of ICT, spheres of application of ICT, European scope, contemporary society

Introduction

In contemporary world information and communication technologies have a significant impact on the society and its way of life. The usage of ICT technologies and applications is becoming more and more common in everyday life and work, and more and more hopes and plans are devoted to their future development and application in the fight with different technical, economic, social and other problems. This paper analyzes the economic aspects of contemporary ICT - spheres of application (transport, energy, health, education, etc), scope and mechanisms of interaction. Special attention is put on the economic aspects of ICT-consumer choice, price and level of market competition. There is also an accent on investment in ICT, taking into account the consequences of the current economic and financial crisis and its impact (through ICT) on the European society in the short-run.

1. Applications of ICT in contemporary society

Even though the ICT sector is itself worth between 6-8% of the EU’s GDP in the last few years, ICTs are much more important than that figure suggests, as they are central for the current situation and development of much more spheres of contemporary society as a whole and of national economies in Europe in particular. Today ICTs play a crucial role in:

- improving competitiveness throughout the economy in the face of globalisation, by boosting innovation, creativity and efficiency; - scientific and technological development in various areas (including medicine and physics); - modernising sectors as diverse as education, security, energy and transport, and making Europe’s public sector more efficient; - tackling social challenges and improving quality of life and meeting the challenge of an ageing society. The EU policy framework for the information society and media - i2010- also promotes a European Information Society for all citizens[2]. Actions implemented under this i2010 priority aim to ensure that the benefits of the information society can be enjoyed by everyone (e-Inclusion). Areas of eInclusion policy, as defined in i2010, are: ageing, eAccessibility, broadband gap (overcoming the so called “digital divide”), inclusive eGovernment, digital literacy and culture. Actions under this priority also aim to encourage provision of better public services (eGovernment and eHealth). Here are the main spheres where ICTs have even bigger potential and are expected to develop in the short run: - Growth and Competitiveness

ICT is a driver for productivity. The gains from ICT stem directly from investment in ICT, a fast growing and innovative ICT sector, and indirectly from improvements in business processes through wider use of these technologies across the economy. According to a study[3], the overall contribution to labour productivity growth from ICT...
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