Getting ′bang for the buck′ in digital innovation | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 06.07.2016
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Getting 'bang for the buck' in digital innovation

In a fresh report, World Economic Forum researchers have identified a group of seven nations, which are the most efficient globally in unleashing the power of digital innovation. Germany is not among them.

A report by the organizers of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said Wednesday the United States, Singapore, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Israel were getting the biggest bang for their buck in economic and digital innovation.

WEF's Global Information Technology Report added that current trends suggested individuals rather than businesses or governments were driving the digital revolution, which was also widening an already large gap in infrastructure between rich and developing countries.

WEF competitiveness chief Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz said "government and businesses are not leveraging digital technology sufficiently."

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The report emphasized that digital innovation had been primarily driven by consumer demand in most parts of the world, adding that this demand was "largely being met by a relatively small number of companies."

"A widening and worrying gap is also emerging between growth in individual ICT usage and public-sector engagement in the digital economy, as government usage is increasingly falling short of expectations."

It noted, though, that because digital technologies were driving winner-takes-all dynamics for an increasing number of industries, "getting there first matters."

WEF researchers pointed out current digital developments allowed for new and near-costless types of innovation that required little R&D effort.

"Examples include the digitization of existing products and the rise of advertising-based services as well as the prospect of more 'uberized' activities in multiple sectors, including transport, banking, entertainment and education."

hg/jd (Reuters, WEF)