Switzerland among the Top 5 in IMD’s Digital Competitiveness ranking

19.06.2018 10:54
Digitisation

Today IMD published the World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018. Switzerland moves up in the overall ranking from 8th to 5th . Remaining challenges are described in detail in the report. The Top 3 countries are USA, Singapore and Sweden.

The IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018 studies 63 economies. The objective of the digital competitiveness ranking is to assess the extent to which a country adopts and explores digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general. Despite the challenge from Asia, "The West" leads in digital - US, Canada and seven European countries are in the Top 10. The Top 10 countries are: 1 USA (2017: 3), 2 Singapore (2017: 1), 3 Sweden (2017: 2), 4 Denmark (2017: 5), 5 Switzerland (2017: 8), 6 Norway (2017: 10), 7 Finland (2017: 4), 8 Canada (2017: 9), 9 Netherlands (2017: 6), 10 UK (2017: 11).

Challenges remain for Switzerland
The improvement of Switzerland comes on the back of an increase in the future readiness factor increasing from 13th to 10th place. The future readiness factor includes indicators such as internet retailing, smartphone possession, E-government or innovative medium sized companies. The country, however, experiences some declines in the knowledge and technology factors (from 4th to 6th and 8th to 9th, respectively).

At the sub-factor level, Switzerland reaches its highest position in talent (2nd) and its lowest in IT integration (16th). In talent, while Switzerland remains attractive for highly-skilled staff (1st), the availability of digital/ technological skills is relatively low (20th). In training and education (which improves from 25th to 10th), despite a low total public investment in education (25th), the quality of tertiary education measured by pupil/teacher ratio is high (6th).

There are weak points in scientific concentration: female researchers (34th), R&D productivity by publication (39th) and high-tech patent grants (34th). However, business agility capitalizes in the flow of knowledge between the academic and business sectors (1st).

In the regulatory framework, although Switzerland tops the rankings in scientific research legislation and intellectual property rights, there are concerns in terms of the ease of starting a business (37th), enforcing contracts (34th) and immigration laws (39th).

The use of digital technology by society to interact with government (e-participation) seems severely low at 51st.

The objective of the digital competitiveness ranking is to assess the extent to which a country adopts and explores digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general. In addition it provides firms the ability to find better opportunities to strengthen future value creation. The ranking draws upon 50 selected indicators divided into three factors: Knowledge, Technology and Future Readiness. The knowledge factor refers to intangible infrastructure, which underlines the process of digital transformation through the discovery, understanding and learning of new technologies. The technology factor assesses the overall context through which the development of digital technologies is enabled (technology-friendly regulation, availability of capital for investments and the technological infrastructure). Finally, the future readiness factor examines the degree of technology adoption by government, business and society in general.

‘Hard’ data such as number of patents grants in high-tech sectors and smartphone usage are weighted twice as much as the ‘soft’ data from our Executive Opinion Survey that measures the business perception of issues such as technology regulation and use of big data and analytics in companies.

The IMD report can be downloaded from the IMD website.

A short interview with Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director of digitalswitzerland, commenting on the results can be found on the website of digitalswitzerland.

(SK)

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