Why France is not reaping all the fruits of digital transformation

by bold-lichterman

France comes in 24th place among countries managing to take advantage of digital opportunities, behind Estonia and Belgium, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2016, published by the World Economic Forum on July 6, which ranked 139 countries according to their ability to tackle digital issues. Another finding of the study, digital does not make it possible to erase inequalities between countries: since 2010, we have indeed found the same three developed countries in the top three of digital champion countries (Singapore, Finland, and Sweden).

The ranking, established each year since 2001 from the Network Readiness Impact, makes it possible to assess the capacity of different countries to benefit from digital transformation based on four major indicators, subdivided into sub-indicators (the global environment, ease of access to resources, the level of digital adoption , and its economic and social impact).

France penalized for its lack of accessibility, and its economic environment

France has gained 2 places in the ranking compared to last year. If we consider the various indicators taken into account to establish the ranking, a certain number of strong points emerge. France is in fact in 15th position out of 139 on the indicator of digital adoption by its government (behind New Zealand and the Netherlands) and in 18th place on the indicator of access to skills digital (behind Cyprus and Denmark). It is also ranked 20th on the digital impact indicator (17th for its social impact, and 20th for its economic impact), as well as on the adoption of digital (by individuals and professionals).

On the other hand, the country ranks 35th in terms of the quality of its economic environment (it is its taxation which is singled out by the authors of the study). It comes in 76th place in terms of accessibility (i.e. costs of access to solutions and digital infrastructure).


The United States, in 5th place in the ranking

On the whole of the study, the top 10 countries in terms of economic impact and digital innovation all belong to the group of advanced economies. Note that they have not changed since last year. The top three countries in the ranking excluding advanced economies are the United Arab Emirates in 26th place, Malaysia in 21st place and Saudi Arabia in 33rd place.

In more detail in the analysis, there are disparities between countries, depending on the indicators considered. With regard to the global environment, Singapore comes first, due to its economic and regulatory environment deemed very favorable by the authors of the study. If we consider the indicators related to the ease of access to resources, Finland comes first (especially in terms of access to digital skills and infrastructure). In terms of digital adoption, Singapore again comes first, in particular thanks to the use made of digital by its government (1st place on this indicator). Finally in terms of impact, it is once again Singapore that arrives at the top of the ranking (1st position for its social impact, 5th place for its economic impact).

  1. Singapore

  2. Finland

  3. Sweden

  4. Norway

  5. United States

  6. Netherlands

  7. Swiss

  8. UK

  9. Luxembourg

  10. Japan

** Methodology: Created in 2001 and calculated each year, the Network Readiness Index (NRI) assesses the capacity of countries to benefit from digital transformation. Countries are assessed on the basis of 4 main indicators: the global environment and the use of technology, networks (infrastructure, accessibility and skills), adoption of technologies (by governments, the private sector, and of individuals), as well as the economic and social impact of new technologies.