A recent poll of 202 councillors of London boroughs carried out by YouGov for the Greater London Authority, revealed that digital exclusion is the biggest barrier to digital transformation (50%) in London’s boroughs. According to the surveyed councilors, alongside digital exclusion, other barriers include cybersecurity (27%), costs of transformation (21%), lack of digital skills (10%), and the poor handling of data and privacy (16%). Many councillors also reckon that the quality of services can be enhanced by data sharing, but they doubt the public sector to securely do that (44%). The poll also shows the importance of smartphone data with 69% saying it’s useful for data sharing and improving public services, against 18% disagreeing. They further noted the significance of sensor technology to gather air pollution and traffic data.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.