Technology is important. The World Economic Forum makes the point rather clearly in its Global Information Technology Report, arguing that ICT is a critical enabler of “a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world.” As its annual study of 133 countries shows, the world’s most successful and competitive economies also are the most technology-orientated societies. Not only does technology lies at the root of an economy’s innovative potential and its productivity; it also plays an important role in reducing social and economic divides. Technology is part and parcel of a nation’s social infrastructure: it plays an increasingly important role in learning and education, and in healthcare and other public services. And increasingly, technology will be pivotal to addressing the central challenges of the developed world, such as building a ‘smarter’ and more sustainable energy system and modernising the transport infrastructure. In other words, technology matters and it matters to all stakeholders: to us as individuals, to businesses and to government. Also, in the years and decades ahead, as our economies and societies become ever more reliant on technology, it will only matter more.
So how do we measure a nation’s technology ‘performance’? If technology is so important to our economic, social and environmental well-being, then best we measure it, so we can manage it. The World Economic Forum’s ICT report is probably the most comprehensive and ambitious attempt to measure what it calls the ‘Networked Readiness’ of a country. Significantly, it looks at both the extents to which ICT is developed and diffused (used, harnessed) in the country.
About Frank Boermeester
Frank is co-founder and editor of The Fifth Conference, a virtual think tank that seeks to understand the innovations that are shaping our future. He also runs a copywriting agency and manages occasional research projects for corporate clients.
Frank is a trained market researcher and research psychologist, with MBA, and has extensive experience in various types of business research and writing. He has worked in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand and Belgium.
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