2017 Digital Evolution Index (DEI 17): How Competitiveness and Trust in Digital Economies Vary Across the World

The Fletcher School at Tufts University, in partnership with Mastercard, have published the 2017 Digital Evolution Index (DEI 17). According to the Executive Summary in the findings report:

The DEI 2017 is a data-driven holistic evaluation of the progress of the digital economy across 60 countries, combining more than 100 different indicators across four key drivers: Supply Conditions, Demand Conditions, Institutional Environment, and Innovation and Change. The resulting framework captures both the state and rate of digital evolution and identifies implications for investment, innovation, and policy priorities. DEI 2017 also highlights the evolving nature of the risks being created by our continuing reliance on digital technology. Towards this end, the study covers a key question of “digital trust.“

Highlights of the findings of the Index:

The DEI framework segments the 60 countries into Stand Outs, Stall Outs, Break Outs and Watch Outs.

  • Three countries are notable as standouts even within the Stand Out segment: Singapore, New Zealand, and the UAE. Each has a unique policy-led digital strategy and a narrative that may be considered by other nations as worthy of emulation or adoption.
  • The Nordic countries and Switzerland are at the top of the DEI 2017 rankings. China, once again, tops the list of countries in terms of the pace of change in its digital evolution, or momentum.
  • Stall Out countries enjoy a high state of digital advancement while exhibiting slowing momentum. The five top scoring countries in the DEI 2017 ranking—Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland—are all in the Stall Out zone reflecting the challenges of sustaining growth. Moving past these “digital plateaus” will require a conscious effort by these countries to reinvent themselves, bet on a rising digital technology in which it has leadership, and eliminate impediments to innovation.
  • Break Out countries are low-scoring in their current states of digitalization but are evolving rapidly and have the potential to become the Stand Out countries of the future. China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Russia are leading the pack.


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