View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
April 4, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 12:46pm

Report: Global digital divide getting worse

Unsurprisingly, the development of ICT in a country helps determine its economic competitiveness internationally.

By Allan Swann

Despite extensive work by developed countries to help boost information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure in developing economies, a serious digital divide still exists, according to research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Insead.

The UK sits at 10th in the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2012: Living in a Hyperconnected World. Sweden and Singapore lead the list, followed by the other Nordic countries, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the US and Canada.

The report attempts to measure the transformational impacts of ICT on the economy and society. It covers 142 economies worldwide and assesses the impact of ICT on competitiveness and the well-being of nations.

"Hyperconnectivity is redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and enterprises, citizens and state, and we are beginning to see fundamental transformations in all areas of the economy and society," said Robert Greenhill, Chief Business Officer at WEF.

"Traditional organizations and industry infrastructures are facing challenges as industries converge. This will inevitably have consequences for policy and regulation as regulators will have to mediate the blurring lines between sectors and industries and will be obligated to oversee more facets in a pervasive way."

The report shows that ICT deficiencies tend to mirror the trends in economic performance in general.

ICT readiness in most of Africa is still low, with most of these countries lacking sufficient ICT infrastructure, due to the costs involved and severe skill shortages. The report also claims that, even in countries where ICT infrastructure has been improved, the impacts on competitiveness and well-being trail behind, resulting in a new digital divide.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

The story is similar for the BRIC countries and Mexico – none of which are in the top 50. China is the highest of group at 51st. As the reports authors note, ‘an insufficient skills base and institutional weaknesses, especially in the business environment, present a number of shortcomings that stifle entrepreneurship and innovation.’

"We believe that in an emerging era of hyperconnectivity, ICT will enable a bold new chapter that is entwined with the sustained growth of the global economy," said Sun Yafang, Chairwoman at Huawei Technologies.

"The importance of ICT goes beyond its role as a driver of future economic growth as smart devices and cloud services continue to become a greater part of our daily lives. By strategically integrating ICT as part of overall economic growth plans, countries are in a better position to capitalize on the hyperconnected global economy and increase competitiveness on a global scale."

To see the full rankings, click here.

The full report can be read here.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.