RSM research gathers data for WEF Global Information Technology Report 2015

The annual ‘Networked Readiness Index’, which compares 143 national economies on the basis of their ability to utilise ICT for economic growth, innovation, employment and social well-being, was published on Wednesday 15 April 2015 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) . Data for the 15th Global Information Technology Report for the Netherlands is collected by INSCOPE Research for Innovation, a specialist research centre at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

INSCOPE, a partner institute of the WEF, collected the data for the report under the leadership of Henk Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management and Business Policy at RSM. The major findings of the report are as follows.

1. Singapore is best able to exploit the potential of ICT in comparison to other countries

Singapore is in first place, Finland second and Sweden in third place at the top of the Networked Readiness Index. The Netherlands takes fourth place. "The Netherlands in fourth place worldwide on this list for the third year in a row indicates that ICT is a source of its competitive advantage. The Netherlands appears above Switzerland, the USA and Germany, which are all in the top five of the world's most competitive economies," said research leader Prof. Volberda.

2. The Netherlands in second place for ‘the economic and social impact of ICT’

The Netherlands is second out of 143 countries for the Networked Readiness Index's key indicator ‘the economic and social impact of ICT’. South Korea and the Netherlands hold the top two places for the digital communication and interactions between governments and their citizens. According to Prof. Volberda this encourages ICT companies to innovate in order to maintain or improve their competitiveness in the long term, thereby strengthening companies' international competitiveness.

3. Residents and Dutch businesses score higher for ICT use than the Dutch government

Dutch businesses and residents are 6th and 7th respectively in the global Networked Readiness Index for ‘use of ICT’, and the Dutch government is 13th. But the Netherlands is relatively behind for the importance the government places on ICT (33rd) and for the promotion of the use of its ICT services (23rd). "Many advanced economies have a focus on technological innovation. To harness the potential of ICT more effectively, the Netherlands should look beyond ICT alone. The successful utilisation of ICT also calls for non-technological kinds of innovation, such as social innovation and business model innovation," according to Prof. Henk Volberda.

4. A history of expensive ICT in the Netherlands

The Netherlands scores relatively low for the affordability of ICT (72nd). It also has relatively high prices for mobile calls (101st) and mobile broadband (69th) – the decline in the Netherlands’ rankings here is a recent development. As recently as 2012, the Netherlands was 47th for the cost of mobile calls. "Investments, for example in ​​4G [a fast mobile internet connection] contribute to a high-quality ICT infrastructure, but also represent a barrier to other parties which lack the necessary means, knowledge, or licenses," according to Henk Volberda.

5. An increasing gap between advanced economies and developing and emerging economies

The top 10 per cent of the best performing economies in the Networked Readiness Index are twice as capable of utilising ICT as the bottom 10 per cent. Professor Volberda explains this is because a lack of access to ICT is a major barrier to developing and emerging economies. Although some emerging economies such as Brazil, China and South Africa have improved their position on the Networked Readiness Index in recent years, their position is stagnating or declining.

The complete WEF report in English is available here, and the report on the findings for the Netherlands in Dutch is available here.

The Global Information Technology Report 2015

ICTs for Inclusive Growth, the 15th edition of the renowned series of reports by the World Economic Forum (WEF) was officially released on Wednesday 15 April 2015. The report devotes extensive attention to the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on economic growth, innovation, employment and welfare. The most important part of this report is the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), which reflects how countries develop and use ICT and related ‘networked readiness’. This measurement contributes to a review of the international competitiveness of 143 countries.

The score is determined by measuring how national economies optimise ICT. It has four key indicators:

  1. Business and innovation environment and the political and legal framework to facilitate ICT
  2. ICT infrastructure, access costs and the availability of necessary skills to optimally utilise ICT
  3. The support and use of ICT by the government, businesses and citizens
  4. The economic and social impact of ICT.

More information

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