South Africa ranked 47 out of 63 countries in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking for 2017.
The rankings, released on Wednesday night, measures the business competitiveness of countries across 260 indicators using data with partner institutions within countries. The research also takes into account survey responses from 6 250 business executives.
According to researchers, South Africa ranked particularly well in terms of knowledge (49). The country’s knowledge measure is based on the extent to which talent is attracted, education and training and scientific contributions in the digital space.
South Africa also performed well in terms of future readiness (42). This measure looks at the regulatory and technology framework as well as capital investment in technology. Business agility ranked highly at 37, which shows companies are willing to adapt to technology changes.
Researchers explained that the low ranking has to do with inefficiencies in regulation and low capital allocation towards technological development.
However, banking and financial services ranked highly at 22 in terms of capital allocation.
Relative to other BRICS nations, China ranked 37, due to its high investment in technology. Russia ranked 46, India 51 and Brazil 56.
Researchers explained to improve competitiveness in the digital space, South Africa should work on developing talent through education and training aligned with skills required in the digital space.
Secondly, more efficiencies in terms of technological regulation need to be introduced.
– Lameez Omarjee