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Sweden ranks first in 2012 INSEAD-WEF Global Information Technology Report

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom rounds up the top 10 - a marked improvement on last year’s number 15 ranking. The country delivers a consistent, yet perfectible, performance in the Networked Readiness Index and obtains its best marks in the usage and impact sub indexes.

The United Kingdom also ranks 10th in the political and regulatory environment pillar, due in part to the country's restructuring of the entire legal and regulatory frameworks to enable convergence of information technology and communications technology. In reforming policies to encourage competition and remove barriers to investment, the UK allows multiple players without restriction in the market. Its business and innovation environment (19th) would benefit however from reforms to further encourage entrepreneurship. Although the United Kingdom ranks highly in the availability of latest technologies (7th), the tax rates are still burdensome (66th), while the number of days to start a business (58th) create conditions not particularly conducive to innovation.

In terms of readiness, the development of ICT infrastructure and digital content in the UK is ranked 11th with a particularly high ranking in the accessibility of digital content indicator (5th). However, the affordability pillar (27th) shows the cost of accessing ICT is relatively high, particularly due to the cost of mobile telephony (68th) and the cost of fixed broadband Internet (35th).

ICT is pervasive among the population at large (the individual usage pillar is ranked 8th and the government usage pillar is ranked 7th). Specific indicators within these pillars where the UK leads are the use of virtual social networks (ranked 3rd and retaining its position from 2011) as well as the extent of business Internet use (ranked 4th and up two positions from 2011). The Business usage pillar (16th) shows however that firms in the UK could improve in their ability to absorb new technology (22nd).

In terms of economic impact, the extent to which ICT is creating new business models, services and products in the UK is good (7th) as is how ICT is creating new organisational models (remote teams, remote working, telecommuting etc) (3rd). Overall the social impact (9th) is better than the economic impact (14th). The impact of ICT on access to basic services (health, education, financial services etc) does however show room for improvement (27th) as does the extent to which the UK government is becoming more efficient in the use of ICT (29th).

To summarise, in all the sub indices (environment, readiness, usage and impact) the United Kingdom comes in at number 10 or just below which indicates the country is leveraging ICT use but the country still does not play a key leading role globally, as it is systematically outperformed by the Nordics, the Asian Tigers, or both.

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