The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

2007 Networked Readiness – Country ranking

 I have been reading this ranking all week.  The big news is the significant drop of the US and Canada, as European countries leapt up. I felt that at LIFT in Geneva.  While Silicon Valley and the US is tacitly referred to as the leaders, its clear that the thought leaders are in Europe.

The sixth annual Global Information Technology Report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva compares 122 countries on dozens of criteria, from Internet penetration to educational attainment to availability of venture capital.

Source: 2007 Networked Readiness

Here is the top 30.

Many factors are taken into account by the authors, INSEAD and World Economic Forum.

To be sure, the Global Information Technology Report isn’t predictive. The study weighs dozens of factors, ranging from Internet penetration and the price of phone service to the quality of education and the availability of venture capital, and derives from them a “networked-readiness index” for each country. Those that rank highest this year—Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, Finland, and Switzerland took the top five slots, respectively—don’t necessarily have the strongest short-term economic growth.

But according to the authors of the study, countries that have high networked readiness are more likely to flourish over the long haul in the emerging, information-driven global economy. That includes adopting clear strategies for spreading new technologies such as broadband Internet, third-generation mobile networks, and e-government, while fostering a transparent, business-friendly policy environment with excellent education and intellectual-property protection.

Source: Business Week

The US drop is explained thus, and presumably Canada is dropped in lockstep.  [ Canada doesn’t do anything especially notable, except produce poor politicians, so the authors aren’t given much choice 🙂  ]

The last sentence here struck me … US is 48th in the world in cell phone usage.  As the US Telco’s argue and fight over the same customers, look at what’s happening to them, but this is not a telco blog – that’s for someone else.

The U.S., which topped the Networked Readiness Index last year, dropped to No. 7 in part because of an increasingly slow and complex legal and regulatory environment. Professor Dutta points out that the U.S. is burdened by a cumbersome taxation system (ranked No. 31 in the world); a legal framework (ranked No. 25) that produces innumerable corporate lawsuits; and a limited use of ICT to streamline government (No. 40 in the world).

The U.S. even remains behind in mobile-phone usage, being ranked No. 48 worldwide.

Relevance to Bankwatch:

So what to make of all this.  First of all, the best ideas will not be in the North America.  Maybe North America was hammered too hard in the dot com crash, and became so focussed on bottom line, that strategic thought was diminished.  Anyhow, all I can do, and will do for this blog, is to do more to link to, and watch European blogs for ideas and strategies.


Written by Colin Henderson

March 31, 2007 at 15:34

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