THE UNITED KINGDOM has advanced in the world ranking of business Information and Communications Technology (ICT) usage, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2012 from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Measured in terms of a Network Readiness Index (NRI), which reflects the achievements of countries in exploiting the opportunities offered by ICT, Blighty managed to climb five places to rank in 10th place compared to last year's report.
The report said, "The UK delivers a consistent, yet perfectible, performance in the NRI," said the report. "The country obtains its best marks in the usage and impact sub-dexes. ICT is pervasive among the population at large and in the government."
The UK also ranked 10th in how its regulatory environment encourages growth of the IT sector. However, it ranked poorly in business innovation environments at a disappointing 20th place.
The data established that Nordic countries together with Singapore "are the most successful in the world in leveraging ICT" and have "fully integrated ICT in their competitiveness strategies to boost innovation".
Sweden clung onto the pole position, retaining the top spot as it had in 2011, with Singapore placed second and Finland third. Denmark managed to surpass Switzerland this year, taking fourth place, with the Swiss dropping one position to fifth.
WEF economist, Beñat Bilbao-Orsorio said at a press conference, "The top five countries display very conducive environments for innovation, and have done their homework on IT infrastructure. This has positive impacts on society and government."
In terms of mobile broadband, the report established that there are over six million users worldwide generating a tremendous $1.3t in annual revenue. It also found that by 2016 more than 80 per cent of broadband connections will be mobile, with growth in emerging countries rising from 61 per cent in 2011 to 84 per cent in 2016.
Covering 142 countries, the report is one of the most comprehensive international assessments of how nations compare in their use of information technology. µ