Singapore, Australia and Sweden have topped The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) new technological readiness ranking for 2018-2022, in a three-way tie for first place.
Over the next five years, government investment will be seen as crucial in driving a broad-based improvement in countries' tech-readiness.
These are some of the key findings in a new report released by the EIU called “preparing for disruption: technological readiness ranking”.
In the previous technological readiness ranking that covered 2013-2017, Finland and Sweden came first and second, respectively.
A number of key elements were considered in the ranking, including access to the internet, the digital economy infrastructure and openness to innovation.
"Technological change is inescapable, and how well prepared governments, businesses and individuals are for disruption is increasingly important,” said Emily Mansfield, country forecast director at The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The US and France have broken into the top 10 in the 2018-2022 ranking, with Libya and Angola retaining the lowest positions.
Furthermore, while China has seen strong growth in patent applications in recent years, the US is still the clear frontrunner as a lead into innovation, according to the method used in the ranking.
"The US will climb sharply in our ranking in the coming years as internet access improves, and will remain the world leader for innovation clusters and new patents,” added Mansfield.
The results indicate the Netherlands to be the best for e-commerce while the UK has excellent e-government services, with Taiwan taking the top spot for cyber security.
However, the UK’s position is expected to decline in the coming years, “reflecting comparatively low R&D spending—a key contributor to productivity growth—and inadequate investment in cyber security," said Mansfield.
The report identifies e-government, cyber security and a robust e-commerce environment as top policy priorities over the coming years.
As one of the three top-ranked countries, Singapore has launched a number of initiatives to improve e-government, cyber security and e-commerce.
In regards to cyber security, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore launched a new initiative recently, called GoSecure, to help mitigate security threats faced by the ICT sector.
Singapore continues to build up its e-commerce environment, attracting attention from the biggest names in the industry, such as Amazon, who launched their prime service locally in Singapore just last year.
Government services are also undergoing a digital transformation in Singapore, enabling new ways to file taxes, apply for business licences and access medical records, to name a few.