The UK has slipped down the “e-readiness” rankings produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), falling to seventh place from fifth place last year.
The rankings measure each country’s e-business environment, looking at a collection of factors that indicate how amenable the market is to internet-based opportunities.
The e-readiness table shows that Denmark has retained its top spot in 2007, with the US and Sweden in joint second place.
Hong Kong (fourth), Singapore (sixth), South Korea (16th), Taiwan (17th) and Japan (18th) have all risen up the rankings this year. But the league table shows stability among the top ranked countries, with nine of last year’s top 10 remaining in that bracket.
The EIU said it had adjusted the methodology used to produce the rankings this year to reflect a more complex e-business environment. For example, internet connections must not only be available, but should be fast, secure and affordable, while delivering services through electronic channels offered an indicator of policy success.
The change in methodology, along with underlying improvements in individual countries, had led to changes in the league table, the organisation said.
Robin Bew, editorial director at the EIU, said: “Technology leadership in the world is becoming a fast-moving target. Those at the top of today's league table cannot be complacent - changing technologies, and attitudes to technology usage, mean that hard-won advantages can be quickly eroded by nimble-footed rivals."
George Pohle, global leader of the IBM Institute for Business Value, which developed the model used for the rankings, said: “The role of governments in laying the structural and policy groundwork for an internet-ready economy is essential today as business and society adapt to ongoing globalisation.
“This groundwork, as reflected in this year's rankings, provides a critical path for individuals and businesses to apply these new digital channels in innovative applications - spurring further economic development.”
The e-readiness top 10
- 1 Denmark
- 4 Hong Kong
- 5 Switzerland
- 6 Singapore
- 7 UK
- 8 Netherlands
- 9 Australia
- 10 Finland