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UK stumbles to 13th in Digital Readiness rankings as Singapore leads

Cisco has unveiled its Global Digital Readiness Index to rank the efforts of 141 countries around the world in pursuit of the digital economy.

Of the ten largest economies globally, only the US cracks Cisco’s top-ten for digital readiness as Singapore shows everyone else how it’s done. While the realities of dominating the future digital economy are very different from such surveys, the report does give an opportunity to benchmark and figure out who should be learning from who.

“Technology has the potential to be the single greatest catalyst for economic and social progress,” said Tae Yoo, SVP of Corporate Affairs at Cisco.

“In every corner of the world, digital technology is helping us become more connected to each other and the organizations upon which we rely. It opens markets, creates jobs, and better connects citizens and customers.”

This statement demonstrates why so many governments around the world are prioritising digital investments and attempting to aid the telecommunications industry financially. Digital infrastructure helps public services improve, enhances society, fosters innovations and generates economic prosperity.

But it is a race. There is only so much money to go around and it will likely be captured by those who progress to the digital, connected world of tomorrow the fastest. This is demonstrable by the success of the 4G era.

The US has been an economic superpower for a considerable period of time, but this was compounded by capturing a meaty slice of the profits from the 4G era. By launching and scaling 4G networks rapidly, new companies and services were given an incubation environment to thrive.

The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, TripAdvisor, Tinder, Match, Expedia and Snapchat, all thrived because the connectivity landscape allowed them to. A company generally needs to establish itself domestically before it can tackle the global markets, and this is what digital preparedness offers; the potential to secure newly created wealth for your national economy.

In the Global Digital Readiness Index, Cisco is attempting to create a league table so we can predict the winners and losers of tomorrow digital economy.

Singapore leads the way, which is perhaps no surprise, with Luxembourg, the US, Denmark and Switzerland leading the top five nations. With the exception of the US, the majority of those in the top ten are smaller nations, with more concentrated populations, which helps on the infrastructure deployment side, but there are other factors to consider.

Cisco has judged 141 nations based on seven criteria; basic needs, business and government investment, ease of doing business, human capital, start-up environment, technology adoption, and technology Infrastructure.

Unfortunately for those of us in the UK, 13th place globally will have to do for the moment.

Ranking Country Score (out of 25)
1 Singapore 20.26
2 Luxembourg 19.54
3 USA 19.03
4 Denmark 18.98
5 Switzerland 18.86
6 Netherlands 18.66
7 Sweden 18.42
8 South Korea 18.22
9 Iceland 18.16
10 Norway 17.98
11 Finland 17.95
12 Australia 17.89
13 UK 17.86
14 Germany 17.85
15 New Zealand 17.75

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