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Beyond the Tau Index

Aggressive IT Deployers Include the Ukraine and Morocco. Now It's Time to Dig Deeper

I've long believed that the rising tide of IT lifts all boats, and certainly the monumental productivity gains in the western world during the 1980s and 90s are proof of this.

Elsewhere, "information societies" in places such as Singapore, South Korea, and Malaysia have achieved economic gains in decades that took centuries for the leading beneficiaries of the Industrial Revolution. And IT is driving economic expansion indirectly in China (through smart supply lines and modern accounting) and directly in India (through rapid business-process outsourcing growth.)

In this spirit, I recently put together a survey of IT spending worldwide as part of a measure called The Tau Index, which seeks to find the most aggressive nations when it comes to deploying IT. The measure integrates national IT spend, local cost of living, and income disparity to create a simple number that can be used for quick comparisons among countries.

The Tau Index tends to reward developing nations, which have the most to gain from IT. The top five countries were Bangladesh, Ukraine, Morocco, Egypt, and Hungary.

It also shows which developed nations are continuing to be aggressive with their IT budgets (eg, South Korea), which are middling (eg, the United States, Germany, and Japan) and which are lagging (ie, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and much of Western Europe).

The Tau Index is an open measure--it uses publicly available information from the World Bank and United Nations--and is a rough measure. It is the starting point of conversations about how the nations of the world are buying and deploying IT, and how this is interrelated with a nation's governmental institutions and societal characteristics.

Now it's time to dig deeper. I'll be looking at the countries on the list in more depth in the coming months, factoring in how IT is put to use, what direct benefits can be attributed to it, how much relates to exporting products and services, and many other factors.

I'll also look into how Cloud Computing is being adopted worldwide, of course. What's the political climate like in each of these countries? How democratic are they? How free are their media? What government initiatives exist? What specific applications are becoming cloudy? How far along the SaaS/Paas/IaaS continuum are these countries? Does this continuum even matter anymore? What can we all learn from specific success stories?

Any mments about specific countries on the list--say, you live in one of them, for example--are welcome!

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.