E-readiness assessment tools can be classified into two broad categories as follows:
- E-economy readiness tools that focus on a nation's or communities' readiness to exploit ICT for economic development (i.e., to take part in the digital economy).
- E-society readiness tools that measure the ability of the overall society to benefit from ICTs (Bridges, 2002).
E-society readiness assessment tools can also gauge the readiness of a nation or community to participate in the digital economy. The CID e-readiness tool, appropriately titled "Readiness for the Networked World, A Guide for Developing Countries," is an example of an e-society tool (CID, 2000).
Although the authors of this report modified the CID assessment tool in 2006 for use in e-readiness assessment of higher education institutions, the method of staging the indicators on a scale of 1 to 4 was not changed (Kashorda and Waema, 2009). The modified e-readiness assessment tool and staging framework used in the 2006, 2008,2013 and 2015 surveys defined 17 indicators grouped into five categories as follows:
- Network access (4 indicators - Information infrastructure, Internet availability, Internet affordability, network speed and quality)
- Networked campus (2 indicators - Network environment, e-campus)
- Networked learning (4 indicators - Enhancing education with ICTs, developing the ICT workforce, ICT research and innovation, ICTs in libraries)
- Networked society (4 indicators - People and organizations online, locally relevant content, ICTs in everyday life, ICTs in the workplace)
- Institutional ICT strategy (3 indicators - ICT strategy, ICT financing, ICT human capacity)
The staging for each of the 17 indicators is derived as an average of the staging for the associated sub-indicators. In total, 88 sub-indicators were staged and were used to calculate the staging for the indicators. In order to stage the sub-indicator, the researchers developed a staging framework that maps the values of the sub-indicator to a stage. For example, staging for Internet availability was measured as shown in the following table