Digital Leaders Blog

UK Lags Behind Europe in Digital Performance

Last week we delivered the Closing Address at the Digital Transformation 2016 Conference held in Edinburgh and attended by over 200 participants. 

The theme of our presentation was digital disruption and whether Scottish business and the Scottish economy in general were ready for the coming digital tsunami.

Our main conclusion was that with fewer than 3 per cent of Scottish companies being 'digital champions', according to the Scottish Government's own research (see our FSB Digital Disruption Report), the  stated policy objective of becoming a World Class Digital nation by 2020 was already out of reach. Digital change is taking place at a more rapid pace than our ability to adapt.  

A new study recently released by the European Commission lends further credibility to our own research. The study concludes that the UK has fallen behind other countries in Europe in areas such as connectivity, digital skills and the integration of digital technology,

The 2016 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) measures the digital progress being made by EU countries in key areas such as affordable broadband, business integration, cloud services and so on.

While the UK score remains above the EU average, it is growing more slowly than the average. Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland are leading the way, while Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Malta, Austria and Portugal are the fastest growing.

Speaking about the report, Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital at Capgemini, states:

"Whilst it's encouraging to see that the 2016 DESI shows some improvement in the digital transformation in Europe, it is worrying that progress is slowing. This is especially true in the UK where we are categorised as 'lagging behind'. That is, still above the average in Europe, but growing more slowly than the rest of the EU."

Compared to the rest of the world, European countries lead in business adoption of digital technologies, while Denmark, Finland and Norway are world leaders for digital public services. In terms of connectivity, however, Europe is beaten by South Korea and Japan..

You can read the full article here.

Jim H

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