By ARAB NEWS
Published: Apr 13, 2011 23:30 Updated: Apr 13, 2011 23:30
ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabia’s advancements in information and communication technology have been highlighted in a study carried out by an international research team.
The Kingdom ranks five places higher on INSEAD and World Economic Forum’s annual global information technology report.
A large number of regulatory and policy actions focused on fostering competitiveness and establishing a business environment supportive of information and communications technology have been adopted in the Kingdom, the report said.
INSEAD, the leading international business school, has announced the findings of the 2010-2011 Global Information Technology Report, Transformations 2.0, a study which the school has jointly published with the World Economic Forum for the past decade.
The Arab countries continue to feature prominently in the rankings, with three in the top 30.
The UAE (24) is ranked first, followed by Qatar (25), Bahrain (30), Saudi Arabia (33) and Oman (41).
This reflects the information technology sector’s increasing prioritization in national agendas as a crucial instrument for economic diversification, enhanced efficiency, and modernization.
Saudi Arabia continues to climb in the rankings, with another five-position improvement to 33rd place overall. The country posts advances notably in its environment (32nd) and readiness (24th) components which are both up six places.
Saudi Arabia’s solid showing is driven by an information and communication technology’s (ICT) conducive market (19th) and regulatory environments (25th), as well as a coherent ICT prioritization in the government’s competitive agenda (ranked 12th for government readiness).
The 10th anniversary edition of the report focuses on information and communications technology’s (ICT) power to transform society through modernization and innovation.
The report again features the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which ranks 138 economies worldwide by examining the correlation between ICT readiness and economic growth. Similar to the 2009-2010 report, Sweden and Singapore led the rankings by placing first and second in the NRI, respectively. Finland (3) rose in the rankings, followed by Switzerland (4) and the US (5).
“ICT, and the Internet in particular, have changed the world dramatically, and all indications point to an even higher rate of transformation of our lives going forward,” said Bruno Lanvin, executive director, eLab, INSEAD.
“As the Global Information Technology Report series enters its second decade, we hope it will continue to provide policy-makers and decision leaders from both the public and private sectors a unique reference and tool to address the challenges and opportunities brought about by the transformations 2.0.”
The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) examines economies worldwide on their preparedness to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: The general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key societal actors:
- individuals, businesses and governments
- to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of available ICT.
“Innovation and ICT have proven a crucial lever for long-term growth, with countless social and economic benefits and the capacity to significantly improve people’s life around the world,” said Alan Marcus, senior director and head of Information Technology and Telecommunications at the World Economic Forum and co-editor of the report.
“Countries fully integrating new technologies and leveraging the new data revolution in their development and growth strategies are laying the foundations for competitive, resilient economies for the future.”
The Networked Readiness Index uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, an annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum with its network of partner institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries included in the report.
This survey of over 15,000 executives provides unique data on many qualitative dimensions important to assess national networked readiness.
The presentation of the NRI rankings is followed by contributions by academics and industry experts, exploring the transformations 2.0, including the emerging Internet economy, communities to be built around digital highways, ICT growing impact on poverty reduction, localization 2.0, the potential of mobile banking in the emerging world, among others.
Furthermore, four deep-dive studies on selected national/regional experiences in leveraging ICT for increased competitiveness are included: Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, as well as broadband approaches and developments in the European Union and US.
The report contains detailed country profiles for the 138 economies featured in the study, providing a snapshot of each economy’s level of ICT penetration and usage.
It includes an extensive section of data tables for the 71 indicators used in the computation of the index.
With three campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents.