Here’s an unwanted distinction. The UK is the unlucky 13th position when it comes to ICT readiness according to the World Economic Forum and Insead. The organisations have just published their yearly assessment, The Global Imformation and Technology Report, and it's not pretty reading for the UK - nor indeed for any of the other major economic powerhouses.

It's true that the USA is fifth - but a country that is so highly dominant in the ICT field should be a high-flyer - but the UK's performance of 13th, while not great, is actually ahead of Germany and well ahead of France, Japan and Australia.

In fact, the UK has shown a slight increase from last year when it was 15th but it's not a pretty picture - it's a slow, long-term decline - the country was 10th in the first edition in 2001-02.

The real damning statistic - and one that should form the backdrop to the forthcoming General Election, is the index for governmental vision of ICT. The UK is 41st, behind such economic powerhouses as Malta, Tunisia, Chile and Azerbaijan. It's also 45th in the chart when it comes to government prioritisation of ICT.

Some countries have an in-built advantage: SIngapore consistently does well in these surveys, it's a small country that has invested heavily in ICT. The oil-rich countries of the Middle East do well as do the Nordic countries, with their highly educated workforce and heavy investment in ICT. But that's not to say that the UK couldn't do better: there needs to be a clearer commitment to ICT development by the UK government - of whatever colour - and some sign of a vision as to where technology is taking us, before we fall further down the league table.

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