Technology highlighted as key recovery driver contributing £102bn in gross value-added to the country
The UK has advanced one place in the Business Software Alliance (BSA) 2011 Global IT Industry Competitiveness Index to fifth position since the index was last published in 2009.
Technology and IT are now a fabric of the UK business environment, with one recent study from Oxford Economics suggesting that Europe is lagging far behind the rest of the world in its investment in technology and telecommunications, to the detriment of economic growth.
BSA Global IT Industry Competitiveness Index shows that the UK continues to outperform the other large European economies including Germany, France, Italy and Spain in IT industry competitiveness.
While the UK fell one place in the global rankings to 8th when it came to the business environment for IT infrastructure, the country remains among the world leaders at developing talent for the technology industry based on the quality of training and the skills its workers offer.
IP protection and enforcement are strengths of the UK legal environment and continue to remain strong, according to the Index. The country also moved up one place to 11th thanks to improvements in IT-related patent activity in the years covered in the Index.
Technology and content industries now contribute £102 billion in gross value-added to the UK economy, according to the Council for Industry and Higher Education.
The UK’s R&D environment ranking has moved up one place to 11th.
Europe continues to look attractive in terms of IT infrastructure and the legal environment, among other factors. However, the continent is failing to keep pace with other regions when it comes to human capital, said BSA.
BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman said it is abundantly clear from this year’s IT Industry Competitiveness Index that investing in the fundamentals of technology innovation will pay huge dividends over the long term.
"It is also clear that no country holds a monopoly in information technology. There is a proven formula for success, and everyone is free to take advantage of it. Because of that, we are moving to a world with many centres of IT power. In the years ahead, policy and business decision makers in the UK have an opportunity to build on that momentum. We know from global experience it will be worth the effort," Holleyman said.
The biggest movers in this year’s Index compared to the previous edition in 2009 include Malaysia, which vaulted 11 spots in the overall rankings and India, which leapt 10 spots on the strength of its robust research and development and dynamic human capital environment., said BSA.
"As the global economy starts to recover, it is more important than ever for governments to take a long-term view of IT industry development," Holleyman said. "Policy and business decision makers cannot just look at this issue on an annual basis, or they risk being left behind. They must assess the next seven to nine years, and invest accordingly, in order to make substantive gains in IT competitiveness."