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How digital technologies can address the SDGs

This step will show how digital technologies can be used to help attain SDGs.

In this course, the case studies you will examine highlight how digital technologies or ICTs (information and communications technologies) can play a role in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. To do this you will encounter different types of digital technologies and from different perspectives such as the features of a technology, how to manage change processes when adopting a digital technology and how to deliver the expected benefits that should result from using it.

Benefits of social impact for businesses:

server stack with cloud icon Hardware: Hardware refers to the physical components that comprise an ICT system. Hardware includes computers, mobile phones, servers and peripheral devices.
computer window showing code icon Software: Software includes the programs and applications that run an ICT system, including operating systems, work applications, email clients, and web browsers.
computer desktop with lines and nodes on it Networks: Networks connect devices in an ICT system, ensuring they can communicate with each other.
Globe icon with magnifying glass Internet:The Internet is a global network that provides access to information and tool
Icon of person's head with computer chip over the top Data: Data is the information that is processed and stored by an ICT system and may include all forms of digital content.
People icon Users: Users are the people who interact with the system to perform various tasks.

Defining digital technology

You have probably come across two terms that are frequently used in business and by academics to denote the technology we are concerned with and that have generally replaced the computer label. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is widely used as a term to describe a class of systems that process and transfer or communicate information. Every term has a weakness, and ICT implies it is all about information with no mention of data or knowledge for example. Some prefer digital technologies because it’s a broader term that refers to the underlying method of representing data and instructions within the technology platform by discrete numbers (0-9) and at machine level in binary (1 or 0) as opposed to analogue technology which relies on continuous wave signals. The reliability of the digital representation system (there is either an electronic pulse or there isn’t whereas analogue waves can have different amplitudes) enables the development of elaborate logic systems that are the basis of computing.

There are many digital technologies since the term is not just used for hardware or physical devices but also the applications that run on them. So, a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone are all digital technologies but so are applications such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, e-learning systems, social media, and Google maps.

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Advancing Social Impact with Digital Technologies

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