Singapore Ranks First in the World in Digital Readiness

Singapore Ranks First in the World in Digital Readiness

by February 5, 2020

Singapore has been named the world’s top nation in terms of digital adoption and which showcases the most favorable environment for digitalization, according to Cisco’s annual Digital Readiness Index.

The index, which measures digital readiness of countries based on seven components: ease of doing business, human capital, startup environment, technology adoption and technology infrastructure, ranked Singapore as the world’s most well prepared country for digitalization.

Map, Cisco Digital Readiness Index 2019

Map, Cisco Digital Readiness Index 2019

Singapore ranked highest of all countries for business and government investment, fourth for ease of doing business, and fifth for technology infrastructure. The city state got a score of 20.26 out of 25.

According to the report, Singapore’s top position is partly thanks to the government’s effort to turn the country into the technology hub in Asia, and its investments into digital capabilities and initiatives.

Initially, Singapore focused on attracting global technology companies into locating their regional headquarters in the nation. This was done through a combination of low taxation and heavy investment in technology infrastructure. But more recently, Singapore has shifted its attention on direct investment in infrastructure and research initiatives.

The Singapore government launched the Smart Nation initiative in 2014, which aims to harness infocomm technologies, networks and big data to create tech-enabled solutions. To support the nationwide plan, Singapore’s IT office set aside S$2.4 billion as part of the country’s 2017 budget.

Among many other initiatives, the Singapore government has also been introducing cashless payments on a large scale, and launched the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which seeks to deploy AI to deliver social and economic benefits.

Singapore was named the Smart City of 2018 at the Smart City Expo World Congress, which recognized the most outstanding initiatives and projects in the urban innovation and transformation industry.


Other findings

After Singapore, the Cisco Digital Readiness Index 2019 named Luxembourg with a score of 19.54 out of 25, the US (19.03), Denmark (18.98), Switzerland (18.86), the Netherlands (18.66), Sweden (18.42), South Korea (18.22), Iceland (18.16), and Norway (17.98), as the top countries in world in terms of digital readiness.

Top ten countries, Cisco Digital Readiness Index 2019

Top ten countries, Cisco Digital Readiness Index 2019

Luxembourg ranked the highest in Europe, while Israel ranked the highest in the Middle East. In South America, it’s Chile which got the highest score, in Central America it’s Costa Rica and in mainland Africa it’s Botswana.

Botswana was one of the new addition to the list of countries. One of the fastest growing economies in the world, Botswana boasted the highest ranking for any African nation in terms of startup environment in 2019. It also performed strongly across all other categories in comparison to other African nations, the report says.

Part of Botswana’s success can be attributed to its political stability. Additionally, efforts have been made by the government to develop the science and technology field, and today, Botswana is home to six innovation hubs.

Another country profile which the report delves into is Estonia, which ranked the highest amongst eastern European countries. The report notes the government’s adoption of a digital-first strategy, the deployment of Internet voting in 2005 making Estonia the first country in the world to do so, as well as the e-Residency initiative.

Another noteworthy finding from the research is that out of the top ten largest economies in the world by total GDP, only the US ranked in the top ten for digital readiness at the third position. The US ranked the highest in the world in technology adoption.