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Monday, May 10, 2021
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ACT claims top spot in digital sphere nationally

The ACT has retained the top spot in digital readiness nationally, but Australia has dropped two places in in the Index of digitally ready nations worldwide.

The Cisco Global Digital Readiness Index 2020 saw the Territory claim the lead with a score of 17.64 out of 25, while Australia ranked 12th globally with a score of 17.89.

Cisco ANZ director of government affairs Tim Fawcett said while the ACT’s score was impressive, the Territory and nation were at risk of becoming stagnant. 

“There are probably two reasons the ACT’s scores decreased in some areas; we changed some of the metrics so that’s more of a technical issue,” he said.

“But the other area, and I think maybe this is the message even though they finished at number one nationally, you can’t afford to stand still. Especially in the digital sphere because you will get overtaken.”

Australia ranked 10th worldwide in the 2018 index against 109 other countries but slipped to 12th place in this year’s report against 141 countries.

The ACT scored well across the Basic Needs and Government Investment categories, while seeing a decline in the Ease of Doing Business and Start-Up Environment categories.

Mr Fawcett said a focus on government policy setting and small to medium businesses was required to continue progressing the digital readiness of the ACT.

“I think it is very much a combination; policy setting has to be right and I think the ACT is still doing extremely well there as shown in it’s number one spot,” he said. 

“Tax incentives and infrastructure projects have been rolling out in the Territory with more to come, so making sure those investments are smart and digitally enabled is a great way to ensure the ACT remains at the top of the game.”

The ACT earned a higher score of 21.14 during the 2018 Digital Readiness Index, compared to this year’s 17.64.

Mr Fawcett said despite the decline in some areas, the entire country had shown resilience and preparedness amid the global pandemic.

“We had a big experiment thrust upon us with the pandemic. All of a sudden, business moved to remote operation and Australia did really well,” he said.

“We exceeded our expectations; I think that shows that the risks of going fully digital are no longer there.

“The ACT as a Territory and the country as a nation should have confidence to accelerate our investment in the digital sphere.”

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