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Australian business lacks agility – digital competitiveness ranking slips to 14

Technology & Data

Australian business lacks agility – digital competitiveness ranking slips to 14


Australian companies have work to do if they are to keep pace with other economies, according to a global report comparing 63 nations.

The Australian market is lagging in international businesses digital competitiveness, with key weaknesses in business agility, technology skills and communications, according to the IWD World Digital Competitive ranking.

“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of research and development, investment in technology and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” says Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) CEO Melinda Cilento.

The Australian economy was ranked 14th on the IWD’s rankings, ahead of the UK at 15th and New Zealand at 18th, but behind Taiwan (China) at 13th and Canada at 11th.

The top five spots on the IMD’s Competitiveness rankings remained unchanged from 2018.

Here are the top 10 for 2019:

  1. USA
  2. Singapore
  3. Sweden
  4. Denmark
  5. Switzerland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Finland
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Norway
  10. Korean Republic

Under ‘future readiness’, Australia ranks 45th for agility of companies, a drop of three places since 2018. In addition, Australia’s communications technology ranking remains at 54th.

Development of technology skills is another area of concern for Australian businesses. “While the Australian community has an appetite for new technology with a high uptake of smartphones and tablets, ranking ninth and third respectively, we don’t rank well in terms of higher technical skills,” says Cilento.

“Australia ranked 44th on digital/technological skills and employee training, and 53rd on graduates in sciences.

“We also need to be aware that economies in our region are making big gains in digital competitiveness with Hong Kong and South Korea entering the top 10 while Taiwan and China have moved up to 13th and 22nd respectively from 16th and 30th.”

This year Australia ranked fifth among 14 Asia Pacific markets, dropping from third in 2018.

Cilento continues, “Our Asia Pacific neighbours are making serious investments into skills and technology infrastructure, both areas where we have dropped off in key areas, and we need to ensure we keep pace. These are the drivers of future competitiveness and opportunity.”

On the positive side, Australia did have strong rankings this year for ‘flow of international students’, ‘country credit rating’, ‘tablet possession’ and ‘e-government’.

The ranking is produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre, based in Switzerland, with CEDA as its Australian partner.

Further Reading:

Image credit:Maxim Abramov

Josh Loh

Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au

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