Barriers to Digital Transformation of the Silver Economy: Challenges to Adopting Digital Skills by the Silver Generation
Authors: Sidra Azmat Butt, Silvia Lips, Rahul Sharma, Ingrid Pappel, Dirk Draheim
Abstract: In the European Union (EU) and the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), life expectancy amongst the population has increased. As the population ages and the percentage of older people in the total population upsurges, there is a dire requisite to address their needs such as higher risks of chronic disease, dependability, disability and a requirement for assistance. Another integral challenge for the elderly is the need to participate in economic and social activities. It is essential to develop systems to ensure that the needs of the ageing population are met efficiently. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and innovations such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and digital infrastructure help facilitate healthy and active ageing, as well as independent living solutions for the elderly. With all these technological advancements being introduced, the silver generation must be also capable of adopting them. The innovative solutions can be deemed a waste of resources if the target group is incapable of benefitting from them. In this research, a systematic literature review is conducted to identify the technology readiness, technology acceptance and level of digital skills of the silver generation as well as the barriers and challenges towards the adoption of digital transformation in the silver economy. The resulting articles are analysed using thematic analysis with NVIVO and the main outcomes help in identifying and analyzing the attitude of the silver generation towards ICT, barriers and challenges to ICT adoption and the existing digital tools and solutions that are easily adopted by the silver generation to serve as benchmarks to introduce further innovations for the silver economy. Moreover, recommendations are provided on how digital transformation can be used as a tool to engage the elderly in the economy by addressing the hindering factors to ICT adoption. Overall, the findings of this research contribute to the literature and can serve as a useful resource for other regions facing similar challenges in addressing the needs of an ageing society.
Keywords: Information and Communication Technology, Silver Economy, Digital Transformation, Digital Skills, Technology Adoption
Cite this paper: