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Connectivity Scorecard 2009

Canadian CEOs and politicians alike should make a point of reviewing a breakthrough study entitled Connectivity Scorecard 2009 commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks.


March 1, 2009  


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Canadian CEOs and politicians alike should make a point of reviewing a breakthrough study entitled Connectivity Scorecard 2009 commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks.

Written by Professor Leonard Waverman, Fellow of the London Business School, and the consulting group LECG, it measured the extent to which governments and businesses consumers in 50 countries make use of connectivity technologies to enhance economic and social prosperity.

Connectivity is defined in the study as the bundle of infrastructure, complementary skills, software and informed usage that makes communications networks the key driver of productivity and economic growth.

The results showed that even the best connected countries in the world have no reason for complacency when it comes to their use of ICT. The highest score out of 10 was the United States and it only earned 7.71, while Sweden (7.47) placed second and Denmark (7.18) third.

Canada finished seven out of 25 countries with a score of 6.15, which is barely a pass. “At a time when governments around the world are looking to jump start their economies with a variety of stimuli packages, the Connectivity Scorecard shows that every single one of them has plenty of room to develop their ICT infrastructure and improve the actual use of it to the benefit of both the economy and society,” said Waverman.

“Communications networks are the infrastructure of the 21st century and these networks are very large construction programs. There is great potential for them in using ICT to stimulate growth.”

An example of how ICT can transform an operation appears on p. 18. Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport was in dire need of an overhaul. In fact, some parts of the building were so old they no longer met current building code requirements.

The Quebec Airport Authority aggressively went to work on a project that included $30 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments. What ensued was the first Category 6A install in Quebec, which gave the airport a robust back end system able to handle any application that gets thrown at it.

“Choosing Category 6A gives them excessive bandwidth for future needs,” says Frank Vitualano, commercial specifications specialist for Hubbell Premise Wiring, which provided the patch panels, patch cords and faceplates used in the install.

It is advances such as this that will help to erase the economic downturn. Those organizations that invest in new technology are going to be the winners when this meltdown ends.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., zeroed in on that theme in mid February during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

“I believe that the companies that recognize the fundamental importance of innovation will have a chance to gain a competitive advantage, particularly as we weather this economic storm,” he said. “As we all find new ways to deliver better value to customers, we all have a chance to position ourselves to be stronger and more competitive, as the economy eventually turns around.”

He predicted that a new generation of innovation is about to transform what technology can do for people: “It will be a transformation that we like to equate to what the graphical user interface meant when it opened up the world of computing to more and more people, or what the Internet enabled when it allowed people to connect to one another in entirely new ways.”

In order for that to happen, senior executives need to start looking beyond this current recession and start developing sound strategies in which ICT plays a far larger role than it does today for their respective organizations.