This is the third consecutive year Singapore has come in second in the Global Information Technology Report's benchmark Network Readiness Index. The nation-state has its eye on the number one spot - occupied for as many years by Sweden - so much so that Singapore's Infocom, Development Authority actually sent a delegation to Sweden last year to observe its best practices in ICT, and found that high broadband penetration in Sweden is a key component to that country's success. Broadband penetration levels in Singapore are around 80 percent.
That revelation was made by James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) at a press conference held Thursday, April 5, at INSEAD’s Asia campus in Singapore. Kang also acknowledged the usefulness of the GITR in helping Singapore benchmark itself against other leading economies in the world.
Created in 1999, IDA serves as the sector regulator in Singapore tasked with developing initiatives to grow Singapore’s IT prowess. But as the sector continues to evolve rapidly, what’s required for Singapore to maintain its ranking? “Singapore can continue to maintain its high standards by constantly putting in efforts to upgrade ICT infrastructure and maintaining a world class educational system that specifically focuses on developing ICT related competences,’’ said Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director of eLab at INSEAD. Lanvin credited Singapore on the superior quality of its math and science education.
What will it to take for Singapore to reach the top spot? The ‘gap’ is innovation, says Lanvin. Singapore needs to attract and manage the right kind of talent, he explains, and focus on improving the country’s ability to create new products and services, spawning intellectual property and patents, and generating new institutional models.