The UK boasts the world’s third most competitive IT industry, according to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The report, which was sponsored by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), assessed IT industry environments of 66 countries, based on six key ‘competitiveness enablers’.
Only the US and Taiwan outperformed the UK - which topped the rankings in Europe ahead of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The UK was ranked fourth in 2007.
The UK was praised for its high PC, internet and mobile phone penetration, its sound intellectual property laws and large IT employee base. According to the EIU, there are 75 desktop and laptops for every 100 people, internet penetration stands at 64 per cent and mobile phone penetration has hit 90 per cent. Over one million people are employed in the IT sector, making it among the largest in Europe.
The EIU said six factors combine to create a sound IT environment: an amply supply of skills, an innovation-friendly culture; world-class technology infrastructure; a robust legal regime that protects intellectual property; an open, competitive economy; and government leadership that strikes the right balance between promoting technology and allowing market forces to work. It also noted that high performing IT sectors directly contribute more than 5 per cent of GDP in most advance nations.
The UK has room for improvement in terms of its investment in research and development and IT-related patents, the EIU concluded.
Julie Strawson, chair of the BSA UK Country Committee, said: “The ability of local governments and IT industries to deliver jobs and a better quality of life through information technology is strongly affected by how they handle the six drivers of competitiveness. The UK has proven particularly adept at successfully striking a balance between investing in technology, supporting sector growth and allowing market forces to work.”
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