Sunday, May 6, 2007

The 2007 e-Readiness Rankings

The Economist, along with IBM, has published this year's assessment of the state of information and communications technology in 70 different countries. The rankings, which have been published since 2000, measures a wide range of factors that collectively aim to measure the ability of a country to benefit from investments in information technology and communications infrastructure. The complete report is available here (it's free and you don't need a subscription to the Economist). It's an interesting read.

A couple of facts from the rankings:
  • Denmark is the highest ranked, while the US and Sweden are tied for second place.
  • The highest ranked developing countries are Estonia and Slovenia, at 28 and 29, respectively.
  • Among the large developing countries, South Africa is the highest ranked at 35, followed by Turkey at 42 and Brazil at 43.
  • Among the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, Brazil is the stand-out at 43. India, China and Russia are grouped more or less together at 54, 56 and 57 respectively.
The methodology used the generate the ranking is interesting and illustrative into what drives adoption of technology at a macro level. The rankings used the following six criteria, listed below along with their weight in the overall calculation:
  • Consumer and business adoption (25%). Per capita spending on IT, levels of e-commerce activity.
  • Connectivity and technological infrastructre (20%). Access, availability and cost of internet access.
  • Business Environment (15%). General business climate, including political stability, taxation, labor policies and opennes to investment.
  • Social and cultural environment. (15%). Literacy, training, and more generally, the "capacity" to ulitize the technology if it is available.
  • Government policy and vision (15%). Government adoption of information technology, online procurement, public services online.
  • Legal environment (10%). Ease of new business creation, intellectual property protection.
Interestingly, India ranks higher than China or Russia despite having a significantly poorer score for connectivity and infrastructure. It scores much higher in the legal environment and government policy and vision criteria, pushing up its overall rank.