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ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


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Angela Attrey , Anne Carblanc , David Gierten , Dirk Pilat  , Andrew Wyckoff , Brian Kahin  

Vectors of Digital Transformation

2020. Vol. 15. No. 3. P. 7–50 [issue contents]
This report focuses on the many ways digital transformation challenges existing policies. Overwhelmingly, current policies are predicated on tangible products and assets, on fixed geographic boundaries and locations, on transaction costs that limit the scale and scope of interactions and offerings, and on supply and demand conditions that reflect scarcity. The digital transformation is dramatically affecting all of these factors and the efficacy of policies based upon them. Exposing the underlying nature of the changes induced by digital transformation rather than focusing on the technologies themselves, the report seeks to offer an overarching perspective of the changes at play to understand policy tensions at a more fundamental level. The intent is to outline policy implications across a range of domains to support a holistic and cross-sectoral approach with consistent, mutually supportive policies. The objective is to provide a start towards a checklist against which existing and new policies can be reviewed to see if they are appropriate and fit-for-purpose in the digital era. The report explores three key areas where digital transformation is affecting the way the economy and society is operating, i.e.: i) scale, scope and speed; ii) ownership, assets and economic value; and iii) relationships, markets and ecosystems. These break down into seven “vectors” of digital transformation that cut through nearly all policy domains. Changes in scale, scope and speed result from the conversion of information into digital bits that can be processed and analysed by computers. The digitisation of information has become exponentially cheaper and faster over the last 50 years and affects the nature of assets that generate value, how ownership is imparted and where value is generated. In turn, these changes affect the structure and operation of markets, supported by digital platforms and thereby create new ecosystems of supply, demand and exchange. These shifts affect how relationships – both economic and social – are developed, maintained and located. For each of the seven vectors the report explores examples of policy implications, and in some cases possible approaches to policy adaptation. While illustrative, the policy examples provide an additional perspective on the vectors. This report benefits from comments from the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy, the Going Digital Steering Group, the Going Digital Expert Advisory Group, a series of Going Digital national roundtables, and responses to a questionnaire gathered from the 14 core OECD Committees participating in the Going Digital project. It also reflects important contributions made by colleagues from across the OECD, as well as outside experts.

Citation: Attrey A., Carblanc A., Gierten D., Lesher M., Pilat D., Wyckoff A., Kahin B. (2020) Vectors ofDigital Transformation. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 15, no 3, pp. 7–50 (in Russian). DOI:10.17323/1996-7845-2020-03-01
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