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Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific American

Report: Digital Divide Remains Challenging for Countries to Bridge

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Countries need to invest in an infrastructure and innovation to get the benefit of information and communications technologies. But a digital divide remains between those who do and do not have the right ecosystems in place--including sector-scale plans for digitization of various industries, capabilities to support those plans (including an understanding of social impact), and ways to monitor what actually gets done. That's one of the take homes from the Global Information Technology Report 2013, launched today by the World Economic Forum. The report analyzed 54 performance indicators in 144 countries.

To improve the odds of successful over time, investment in information and communications technologies needs to be consistent, regardless of government structure or shifts. "The more you invest...the more you are going to be able to build success on top of success," said Bruno Lanvin of INSEAD at the press conference. Most developing countries are still failing to create the conditions necessary to close the gap in competitiveness. Finland, Singapore and Sweden lead the index; the U.S. was ranked ninth. The interactive map below will let you explore which countries are in the best position for digital success, and which are lagging.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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