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Agile Computing: Article

Which Nations Are Most IoT-Ready?

Our Tau Institute Research Provides an Early View

The IoT is coming, as inevitably as the earth circles the sun. It's just a matter of how many laps the planet will take before we have an IoT society characterized by smart things, buildings, grids, cities, and nations. We'll see much of the current state-of-the-art at the upcoming @thingsexpo in New York June 10-12, an event I'm fortunate enough to chair.

One question to ponder is which of those nations are best equipped for the IoT? We think an answer to this question lies within the research we've been conducting at the Tau Institute these past three years.

We measure key technology factors such as average bandwidth, internet access, and number of data servers, along with socio-economic factors such as income parity, corruption, and overall development.

We then create unique algorithms that are not simply weighted but run along a series of function curves and their differentials. In doing so, we determine relative rankings, ie, which nations are doing the most with the resources they have.

It's IoT Time
To be equipped for the IoT requires a strong underlying IT infrastructure, but also a healthy economy and society. We already measure much of what constitutes those two things.

Refining our process, we think that by adding new factors into our rankings - port and transportation infrastructure, for example, and mobile usage, the state of education, the presence of technology policies and centers, to name a few others - we can determine the nations best equipped for the IoT on an absolute basis, as well as on a relative basis, and which are experiencing the most dynamic current change.

Clearly, we also need to address key industries within each nation, and take a long look at the current state of manufacturing in each nation and the prospects for an IoT-driven renaissance there. I personally feel the potential of a rebirth of manufacturing, on a global basis, is as important a factor of the IoT as any other.

Current Rankings
Right now, the nations with the best-developed overall IT environments among the wealthiest nations of the world are led by New Zealand, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Among the second group of developed nations the leaders are South Korea, Estonia, Lithuania, Taiwan, Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia.

Among the best-developed of developing nations, the leaders are Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Turkey, Costa Rica, and Malaysia. Among the next tier of developing nations we find Jordan, Jamaica, Ukraine, Mongolia (yes), and Morocco as leaders.

Among the least developed nations the leaders are Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, and India.

Many Variations
There are numerous other ways to calculate and interpret our data. In addition to the overall rankings I allude to above, we provide "raw" rankings that emphasize technology over socio-economic factors, "Goldilocks" rankings that determine which nations seem to be advancing at a pace that is "just right," and rankings of instantaneous dynamism - how quickly nations are changing at this precise moment.

Different countries emerge in each view of the world that we take. We currently measure 102 nations.

To determine which of these leaders will emerge within a more IoT-specific research will be a large task. But this is where the world is going. The countries I list above give us a good start on places to look for IoT leadership. As our research expands, we'll provide even better looks.

Ask
If you don't see your favorite country listed, no worries. Each of the 102 nations we survey has potential of one kind or another. Our rankings are not meant to be a contest, but instead a way to start conversations.

Please contact me and I'll be happy to explain to how in detail how we do our work, where your favorite country stands, and what that means.

Also, please look for our Tau Institute booth on the exhibition floor @thingsexpo June 10-12 in NYC and November 4-6 in Santa Clara!

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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