Australia’s digital competitiveness has fallen back

Australia has slid five places in a world ranking for digital competitiveness despite all the digitalisation that was fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic. But not all is lost.

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Australia’s digital competitiveness has declined for the third year in a row, according to the Institute for Management Development’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking which evaluates 64 countries. Australia dropped five places going from No. 15 in 2020 to No. 20 in 2021, with the country’s biggest weaknesses being business agility and digital skills and training. IMD is a global educational institution.

The IMD ranking assesses the capacity of a country to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in business models, government practices, and society in general. The ranking is composed from three factors: knowledge, technology, and future readiness.

Australian organisations have invested in digital adoption as can be seen by the increase in the adoption of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), expected growth in the servers and storage market, and growth in the networking infrastructure market’s revenue of 16.9% increase during the first quarter of 2021, generating $314 million.

But despite federal and state governments’ investments and the acceleration of digital transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia continues to fall behind, including across different areas of IT. Experts have said that machine-learning adoption in Australia hasn’t been as fast as expected and the skills gap, which was exacerbated by border closures, has raised salaries, resulting in an increase in IT services spending.

The good and the bad of Australia’s digital competitiveness

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