20 February 2003 The benefits that businesses reap from information technology investments, and the overall return-on-investment of computer systems, are hotly contested and contentious topics.
But according to a new survey carried out by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the French-based international business school Insead, the use and application of information and communication technologies (ICT) remain among the most powerful engines of growth, despite the economic slowdown.
Just how, powerful, however, depends on where your company is based.
The 335-page Global Information Technology Report 2002-2003, assessed the technology capabilities and ‘networked readiness’ of 82 countries across the globe, and the associated effects of that readiness on economic growth and productivity.
Based on the analysis of 64 criteria, from competition in the telecommunication sector, to government prioritisation of ICT, to total number of Internet users, it found that companies in Finland are most able to benefits from their investments in ICT, while companies in the UK and Germany face more of a challenge.
The countries that scored best were those where government and business leaders were most flexible, said Bruno Lanvin of the World Bank. The aim of the report, he said, is to help governments implement technology policies that will make it easier for companies to compete in the global economy.
The Global Information Technology Report 2002-2003 is available from Oxford University Press