Friday, April 13, 2007

The Vikings Are Coming!

The World Economic Forum has released its latest Global Information Technology Report focusing on Information Communications Technology (ICT).

For us with our Asian orientation, it is surprising to see the Nordic Countries (Denmark #1, Sweden #2, Finland #4, Switzerland #5 and the Netherlands #6, Iceland #8, UK #8 and Norway #10) leading the rankings. Okay, I threw Switzerland in there just to make a longer list but all the others owe a significant part of their heritage to the Vikings.

The sole Top 10 Asian placement was Singapore #3. And, the U.S. found itself #7 after having ranked as #1 in the 2005 ranking.

Why all this? Authors in video available on the website speak to these issues. Soumitra Dutta, Dean, External Relations, Insead, cites the U.S.’s complex regulatory environment and its lag in technology adoption in business firms.

So, where are the powerhouses we fear? India ranked 44th down 4 positions from 2005 of the 122 (Chad) countries and China was nine positions down to 59th place. The authors cite India’s weak infrastructure and a very low level of individual usage of personal computers and the internet. Remember those campus operations and poor utility service that Thomas Friedman tells of in his book The World Is Flat?

For China, the lagging technology uptake in Chinese firms is only partially offset by growing patents and tech transfer adoptions. The Chinese beginnings in global marketing concentrated in technology products is only two years old. And it suffers as a place for low-cost assembly by foreign-owned companies.

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