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UK is 15th best place in the world to do IT

Still better than France, though. And Australia

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Blighty has been ranked as the 15th best country in the world in which to try to make use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Sweden is top, just barely pipping Singapore to the post, and other Nordic and Asian Tiger nations dominated the top 10.

The rankings in question are those on the Networked Readiness Index produced by the World Economic Forum. According to the WEF:

The framework gauges:
  • the conduciveness of national environments for ICT development and diffusion, including the broad business climate, some regulatory aspects, and the human and hard infrastructure needed for ICT;
  • the degree of preparation for and interest in using ICT by the three main national stakeholders in a society (ie, individuals, the business sector, and the government) in their daily activities and operations; and
  • the actual use of ICT by the above three stakeholders.

Britain's ICT stakeholders apparently just don't care as much as Nordic ones, with Finland (third), Denmark (seventh) and Norway (ninth) well ahead of us. Likewise North America is a lot better place to try and get things done in IT than here: the USA placed fifth and Canada eighth.

Needless to say the smarty-pants Asian Tigers were also well to the front of the pack with Taiwan (sixth), South Korea (10th) and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (12th) all well ahead of this sceptred isle.

The wheezy Celtic Tiger, by contrast, made a characteristically dismal showing. Ireland staggered in at 29th place, rather embarrassingly getting beaten by Malaysia: this is a poor effort as Malaysia is in a lower income group than Ireland, and should have been well behind.

Other nominally well-off countries finding their national asses comprehensively whupped by hungry poor folk were Spain (ranked 37th) and Italy (51st – ouch!). Italy achieved the distinction of being beaten in IT by such nations as Montenegro, Uruguay, Jordan and Mauritius.

Other nations of IT interest could be deemed to include India (48th, better than Italy but worse than Spain – and a very high placement indeed for a nation in the third, low-middle, income group) and the southern-hemisphere Anglophone nations, which trailed the UK but made respectable showings. Australia came in at 17th, just behind Iceland but one place ahead of New Zealand; the Kiwis in turn were one up on Japan. South Africa was way down the list at 61st, even worse than Italy, though this was actually a decentish showing for a second-wealthiest-group upper-middle income nation.

In a little bit of good news, the Japanese were one ahead of the French, meaning that Blighty was five places up on our ancient rival.

You can read the full WEF report (large fist-eating 435-page PDF/10 MB) here. ®

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