The 11th edition of The Global Information Technology Report 2012: Living in a Hyperconnected World was released by the World Economic Forum with a special focus on the transformational impacts of ICT on the economy and society. The Nordic countries rang in high on the list, withs Sweden ranking first, followed by Singapore and Finland. Denmark came in as fourth on the list, while Norway placed seventh– one place higher than the United States. The report assessed 142 world economies to assess the impact of ICT on the competitiveness and well-being of the nation.
For the Baltics, Estonia came in 24th, Lithuania in 31st, and Latvia rang in as the 41st.
The main factors of compiling the report came down to indicators such as broadband and mobile phone use, number of applications for ICT patents, internet access in schools, e-government initiatives, and so on. Overall it looked at how businesses, individuals, and governments leveraged ICT.
The report also noted that the BRIC countries, led by China at 51st place, still lag behind the world in ICT indices. According to the press release, China shows, “An insufficient skills base and institutional weaknesses, especially in the business environment, present a number of shortcomings that stifle entrepreneurship and innovation.”
“The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) has been adopted by several governments as a valuable tool for assessing and leveraging technology for competitiveness and development. The success of the NRI emphasizes the importance of continuing to evolve its framework with the changing landscape of technology and the new opportunities it creates,” said Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD, a co-editor of the report.
“To measure this impact effectively, we have introduced a new set of impact-oriented metrics this year that assess not just the availability of technology, but also the ways in which economies put that technology to greater use. Considering how ICT has become omnipresent, the focus has moved from access to making the best use of ICT in order to improve business innovation, governance, citizens’ political participation and social cohesion,” added Dutta.