Technology report stresses importance of ICT as a catalyst for growth in global turmoil

Denmark and Sweden once again lead the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, released by the World Economic Forum. They are followed by the United States which is up one position, thus confirming its pre-eminence in networked readiness in the current times of economic slowdown. Singapore (4), Switzerland (5) and the other Nordic countries together with the Netherlands and Canada complete the top 10. The Report underlines that good education fundamentals and high levels of technological readiness and innovation are essential engines of growth needed to overcome the current economic crisis.

The Report is produced by the World Economic Forum in cooperation with INSEAD, the leading international business school, and is sponsored by Cisco Systems. Published for the eighth consecutive year with coverage of 134 economies worldwide, the Report remains the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.

Under the theme Mobility in a Networked World, this year’s Report places a particular focus on the relationship and interrelations between mobility and ICT.

The Networked Readiness Index (NRI), featured in the Report, examines how prepared countries are to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key stakeholder groups – individuals, businesses and governments – to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of the latest information and communication technologies available.

Future prospects of the IT industry after the implementation of the New IT Strategy

The NRI uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries included in the Report. The Survey provides unique data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues.

This cross-country analysis of the drivers of networked readiness provides useful comparative information for making business decisions and additional value to governments wishing to improve their ICT preparedness.

An update of the NRI is followed by specialist contributions written by renowned academics and industry experts, exploring different aspects related to mobility, ICT and innovation such us mobile telephony and its impact on economic growth and networked readiness, Internet ubiquity, mobile reality mining, and mobility of talents and research and development (R&D) flows. Also insightful case studies on best practices in innovation and ICT development and diffusion in Egypt, the Republic of Korea and Brazil are included.

The Report contains detailed country profiles for the 134 economies featured in the study, providing a snapshot of each economy’s level of ICT penetration and usage. Also included is an extensive section of data tables, including each indicator used in the computation of the Index.

The editors of the Report are Soumitra Dutta, Dean, External Relations and Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology, INSEAD, France, and Irene Mia, Director and Senior Economist, Global Competitiveness Network, World Economic Forum.

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