The IMD World Digital Competitiveness Rankings for 2018 are out. The study encompasses 63 economies and examines their level of digital competitiveness. About 40% of the sample (26 countries) shows a decline, while only eight economies remain in the same position.
Overall, USA tops the list as the most digitally competitive country, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland. As for Asian countries, Singapore (2nd) leads the pack, followed by Hong Kong (11th), Korea (14th), Taiwan (16th), and Japan (22nd). Malaysia sits as the sixth top Asian country in digital competitiveness.
Malaysia drops three places in the rankings, from 24th to 27th. Its biggest strengths within the digital economy are science graduates (3rd), high-tech exports (4th), and investment in telecommunications (5th). Meanwhile, its weaknesses revolve around E-government (46th), retailing (49th), and starting a business (51st).
Results show that several countries are experiencing an ‘adaptive imbalance’. This refers to a disparity between high levels of training and education, and embracing of digitalisation. IMD notes Austria, Malaysia, and Russia as the major countries experiencing this.
Introduced for the first time in May 2017, the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking quantifies the rapid technological transformations that countries are undergoing. It acts as a tool for decision-makers in the public and private sectors to interpret and address these changes.
The objective of the digital competitiveness ranking is to assess the extent to which a country adopts and explores digital technologies. This study is done in hopes to spur transformation in government practices, business models, and society in general. In addition, it gives firms the ability to value their opportunities. The ranking draws upon 50 selected indicators divided into three main factors: Knowledge, Technology, and Future Readiness.