Some time ago we discussed in our blog the results of a survey conducted on 60 countries in the world to measure their degree of digitization over the period 2008-2015 (see the article “Measuring digitization, levels reached and impetus for investment“). The results of this survey produced a map in which the countries involved were divided into four areas considering, among other things, their prospects for the future understood as capacity to generate demand and continue to evolve. Let’s now consider another survey, or rather, a ranking of the world’s most innovative countries. Investment in this regard is a key key to moving up the rankings: will the results reflect what was said in terms of digitization a few months ago?

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s ranking of the world’s most innovative countries has, for the past ten years, presented the performance of 127 nations using 81 indicators that take into account the political landscape, education, infrastructure and the business world. In 2017, the Global Innovation Index sees Switzerland in first place for the seventh consecutive year. This is followed by Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom. As for our country, as in 2016 we rank 29th, behind Estonia, Malta, Belgium and Spain. In particular, what penalizes the Italian result are investments in education and access to credit, offset, however, by creativity and information and communication technologies. The results reported so far reflect what has been observed regarding the degree of digitization, where the best performances are competed for by the same countries as those mentioned above and where Italy assumes an intermediate position that bodes well for the future.

Let us now analyze the Italian situation in detail, since 29th place is the result of balancing negative and positive data already mentioned in part. The main weaknesses are in human capital and research, areas in which we are 75th (measured in investment in education). We even fall to 84th place for access to credit and 109th for net inflows of foreign direct investment. The other side of the coin presents instead a rosier picture: investments in information and communication technologies earn us the 17th place, obtained thanks to the sector of online government services; we boast the 8th position for digital participation of citizens; moreover, as far as access and use of ICT infrastructures are concerned, Italy is respectively at the 33rd and 34th step of the ranking. Another positive note concerns creativity: we are first in the world in industrial design and 29th in online creativity; we also have excellent data on the ecological sustainability of infrastructures, for which we are fourth in the world.

Results that, as ICT service providers, can’t help but bode well 😊. Next we’ll discuss in detail how much Italy has spent in the last year on digital transformation and what to expect in 2018. To be continued…

Sara Avanzi

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