Readiness is the degree to which a community is prepared to participate in the Networked World. It is gauged by assessing a community's relative advancement in the areas that are most critical for ICT adoption and the most important applications of ICTs. When considered together in the context of a strategic planning dialogue, an assessment based on these elements provides a robust portrayal of a community's Readiness.
The value to a community of assessing its Readiness lies in evaluating its unique opportunities and challenges. Most communities will not be uniformly Ready across all evaluation criteria. The result is not a simple "yes" or "no", but rather a complex map or detailed snapshot of a community's potential. A community may be well poised for some applications of ICTs, but unable to use others. The scope and detail of the Guide's output makes it a powerful tool for identifying a community's strategic priorities for participating in the Networked World.