Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Is the world really flat?

I was struck by the relevance of our pastor's message when she said one of the major reasons anyone is not able to succeed is the failure to recognize the resources available to us. And when one is able to recognize a particular resource, another challenge is to be able to tap into it for one's advantage. This modern age of information technology gives a vast amount of resources available to virtually everyone. Information at your fingertips has become a reality to even the poorest nations. Some people call it the leveling of the playing field. This gave rise to the notion that today, our world has become flat or leveled. The developing nations has equal access to information that the rich ones have. If you stop and think about it, there are tremendous amount of opportunities waiting to be exploited in this new environment. One proof is the booming industry of call centers and outsourcing. More and more jobs are now being done by Filipinos for American companies. The internet together with the advancement in computer technology hardware and software is key to this new frontier. That's why internet usage is a very good indicator of knowing whether or not a country is being left behind or advancing forward. According to Internet World Stats 16.9% of the world's population uses the internet. Asia, in particular, only have users at 10.2% of its population. Rich Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hongkong and Taiwan all have more than 60% of its population hooked up in the internet. The Philippines has seen a big jump in internet users from 2 million in the year 2000 up to 7.82 million people accessing the internet as of current estimates. A huge increase but still meager considering this is only 9% of all Filipinos. A push towards better access to the internet and education of the people on how to take advantage of its benefits would be a good policy for our government. I believe there are projects underway and laws being written to improve our e-commerce and IT standing. These are good steps forward. We'd better get our acts together before we miss this wave of opportunity. If you think the world is still round, think again.
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