10 Tech-savvy countries

10 Tech-savvy countries
Photo: Tech-savvy countries.

Technology offers businesses a tool-kit to transform and innovate. It is a crucial cog that propels the world’s economy hence the reason countries are promoting the digital agenda. Here are countries leading in Network Readiness Index that measures ICT, according to Market Watch report.

1. Singapore: 6.04 NRI

Ranked first for the second year in a row, Singapore’s government promotes a digital agenda. A notable example is the country’s Smart Nation initiative, consisting of a series of efforts to use technology on a national level, to improve lives and create more business opportunities. Their NRI is highly co-related with per-capita income. In most cases businesses and individuals fuel progress.

2. Finland: 5.96 NRI

Finland ranks highest in education and skills, according to WEF’s Human Capital Report. It also leads in access to the latest technologies and the impact of ICT on business models. This foundation has yielded good business results and, in turn, lured significant venture capital. As expected, Finnish businesses rely heavily on tech, but similar to several countries on this list, the government is not perceived as proactive in promoting ICT.

3. Sweden: 5.85

NRI Stockholm is featured by WEF as being the second most prolific technology hub on a per-capita basis. The Swedish government plays an active role in shaping the country’s tech ecosystem, with good results in areas such as the political and regulatory environment, as well as business and innovation. Tech adoption is driven by businesses keen to tap into the highly connected Swedish online community.

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4. Norway: 5.83

NRI Norway has the second-fastest average internet speed in the world at 21.3 megabites per second after South Korea (29 Mb/s.) A pro-ICT regulatory and innovation environment has spurred tech adoption and use. Norway has the best ICT infrastructure in the world. Its general population and workforce is well-versed in all things ICT, which enables businesses to rely heavily on digital technologies in business interactions.

5. U.S.: 5.82 NRI

The U.S. has been steadily climbing the ladder, ninth in 2013 and seventh in 2014 and 2015. Progressing so swiftly is only natural for a country that is home to seven of the 10 largest global tech companies. The country’s business sector is famously agile and digital-forward. Broadband-access prices are very low. The foundation has already been laid for next year’s climb in the NRI ladder.

6. The Netherlands: 5.81

NRI In July, Netherlands became the first country to have a nationwide network dedicated to the Internet of Things. The country’s mobile-internet fees are particularly high, and broadband prices are rising. The Dutch are the most tech-savvy and connected in the world, which is reflected in both business- and government-tech adoption. That said, Netherlands dropped two places from 2015.

7. Switzerland: 5.75

NRI The home of private banking, chocolate and … servers! The report ranks Switzerland second out of 10 European countries in a tell-tale category – It has the greatest data centre surface area per capita. Its government doesn’t sufficiently use digital technology but businesses more than make up for it. Switzerland also leads in the quality of management schools, the extent of staff training and the capacity for innovation.

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8. U.K.: 5.72 NRI

The U.K, home to 17 tech companies, has a host of factors working together: venture-capital availability, quality of management schools and government procurement of tech. U.K. businesses rank first in using the internet to provide services and products to consumers, and are second in B2B (business to business). It will be interesting to see how Brexit will affect this index.

9. Luxembourg: 5.67 NRI

This small European country knows the importance of technology and its regulation. That is why it has the most sophisticated set of laws pertaining to ICT. A robust regulatory framework, combined with venture-capital availability and access to new tech through government-procurement efforts, provides a nurturing environment for modern technology. WEF highlighted Luxembourg for the number of residents, at 62.3 per cent, with highly skilled jobs.

10. Japan: 5.65 NRI (out of 7)

Japan’s NRI has increased from 5.2 in 2013 to 5.65 in 2016. High scores are for the intensity of local competition (6.3) and the availability of latest technologies (6.2). Although the government is not leading the way in the country’s tech usage, it does provide solid legal frameworks for its adoption.

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