The important fact from the available statistics is that most world population are actually concentrated in the developing countries. For example China and India together account for more than 30% of the world population. Given the fact that the infrastructure in these developing countries are not available to provide internet service. This clarify the reason why the penetration rate (the percentage of population using internet) in western countries is much higher than that in the developing countries as shown in Fig.1. This fact will leads to another one that future internet users will be living in the developing countries. The percentage of internet users in each region from the total number of users worldwide is also assuring the fact that the relatively lower percentage of the highly populated developing countries is still representing the major portion of the internet users Worldwide.
More and more people are adopting the use of the internet every year, and as we live in the Post-PC era, Smart phone played a huge role in including more internet users through a cellular phone network. This happened especially in the remote areas in developing countries. For example, in 2016 72% of the new internet users across the globe are estimated to access it through smartphones. The need for internet is being driven primarily because of social media. It is expected in the coming years smart phone and tablet will be more available and more affordable. This will connect more users to the internet, and if we assume the growth rate in the past five years will remain the same, it is expected by 2021 internet users may reach 4.25 billion and by 2026 may reach 5.0 billion. On the other hand, some analysts are not expecting steady growth in the coming years because the connectivity growth will slow down in the western countries. Therefore big companies like Facebook and Google are trying to post connectivity growth by offering free internet in the developing countries.
As globalization is considered an integration of economies throughout the world, it is clear that more internet users will promote globalization. The new users or communities will be targeted for new products, services, and life styles. The big corporation will have opportunity to take advantages of the new market’s customers as well as the cheaper workforce. On the other hand there might be challenges in regard of supply chain management to deliver to these far markets, and the new markets will need product adjustment to fit the cultural and social needs.
- Information Systems Today: Managing in the Digital World. Book by Christoph Schneider and Joseph S. Valacic