Global IT Industry Competitiveness Index 2009

Resilience Amid Turmoil: Benchmarking IT Industry Competitiveness 2009

IT Competitiveness 2009

The third annual study into IT sector competitiveness from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), finds that the US remains the world’s most conducive environment for the development and growth of IT firms, despite a tougher business environment and the emergence of protectionist impulses.

Canada and west European countries such as Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands are also prominent in the index top tier, owing to their robust IT infrastructure and strong support for technology R&D, among other factors. In emerging markets, large pools of skilled IT employees remain a significant advantage for China, India, Russia, and other countries, but uneven progress in other areas, such as IT infrastructure, remains a drag on sector competitiveness.

The study outlines six key factors that work together to create a supportive environment for the IT sector: an ample supply of skilled workers; an innovation-friendly culture; world-class technology infrastructure; a robust legal regime that protects intellectual property; a stable, open, and competitive economy; and government leadership that strikes the right balance between promoting technology and allowing market forces to work.

Following are the other major findings of this year’s study:

  • Protectionism and support for “national champions” will hinder economic recovery efforts—and longer term sector competitiveness.
  • Broadband networks are increasingly essential to IT firms’ competitiveness.
  • Investment in skills development remains a long-term imperative.
  • IP regimes are improving in many emerging markets, but more progress is needed.

The economic crisis has created new challenges for IT producers, but for policymakers the importance of nurturing competitive IT industry environments to bolster economic growth remains unchanged.

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BSA North America & Latin America
Rodger Correa

BSA Europe, Middle East, Africa
Lisa Randles

BSA Asia-Pacific
Juliet Lim