It’s no secret that technological innovations have reshaped (and are continuing to reshape) how business is conducted around the world. With communication and financial transactions happening in fractions of seconds, global businesses can continue operations around the clock, seven days a week. But, what about the consumers who are buying these businesses’ products or services? Are they as in sync with technological advances as those who create these goods and services? For many countries, the answer is yes; some of the most tech-ready countries have been on the forefront of creating and adapting to these transformations. And, as technology created as part of the fourth industrial revolution continues to “blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres,” some countries are more prepared to create, embrace, and weather these technological shifts.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Preparing for Disruption: Technological Readiness Ranking” weighed numerous factors in what makes a country more tech-ready than another. Access to the internet and usage, mobile phone subscriptions, digital economy infrastructure, e-services provided by governments, among other factors made up the criteria by which is country was evaluated.
United States’ Tech Readiness
The United States was between 2013 and 2017 ranked eleventh out of all countries measured. But for the years 2018 to 2022, it jumped and is projected to remain at the number-four spot. A key factor in the United States’ seven spot jump was its openness to innovation, or the ease of developing and implementing new tech ideas. The EIU reviewed the total number of patents granted, R&D spending, and research infrastructure. It found that United States’ 159,192 patents stands well above the next-closest country, Japan, at 65,785.
But patents themselves weren’t the sole base of this ranking; the researchers note that these innovations’ impacts are dependent on how they are put to use—and how far their reach extends. While the U.S. does not spend the highest percentage of GDP on R&D (that distinction goes to Israel), its research infrastructure is well established, with San Jose-San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston-Cambridge spurring most of the United States’ inventive activity.
Australia’s E-Services in Top Shape
The world’s smallest continent shares the number-one spot with Singapore and Sweden, but its E-government services and corruption ranking has it taking the number-two position in another study. The UN-E-Government Survey 2018 found that Australia’s government has expanded its e- services, offering a number of benefits to Australians. These services are often more convenient for citizens, reduce opportunities for corruption, and make engaging in the democratic process much easier. Further, Australia does well in protecting these e-services and in overall cyber-security.
Sweden Remains at the Top for Tech-Readiness
The home of Spotify, Ericsson, and Volvo, Sweden is no stranger to innovation that improves Swedes’ lives. Taking the number-two spot in the 2013-2017 rankings and sharing the top spot for 2018-2022, Sweden does well across most metrics. Researchers measured three indicators to determine the rankings: e-commerce business environment, reach of e-government services, and, cyber-security readiness—all three in which Sweden ranked well. Its digital economy infrastructure is among the top; it has made online shopping and services more efficient. But beyond online retail, Sweden does well in protecting these transactions, as well as the data shared by millions of Swedes and those using online Swedish services and/or sites.
Singapore’s Location and its Digital Infrastructure
The third country to share the top spot is also one that ranks quite well in other reports. Namely, Singapore’s average internet speed tops all other countries’, and takes first place in McKinsey’s Connectedness Index, with its developed economy remaining more connected than others. This is reflected in the 400-500% increase in flows of goods, services, finance, people, and data and communication. But Singapore’s unique location also aids its ranking; its trade intensity helped it earn McKinsey’s number-four spot for overall connectedness. Both its digital and physical centrality have helped Singapore position itself as a global hub for both trade and data inflows and outflows.
Looking for a Tech-Ready Country for Your Global Expansion? Rely on an Experience Partner to Help Take You There
Countries across the world are improving their digital infrastructure, providing more e-services and opportunities for innovation—and one of these countries may be the best market for your global expansion. Velocity Global’s suite of global expansion services that includes its International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) solution can make your move into a new market simple, and can have you global in under 48 hours. We’re here to talk when you’re ready