For the fourth consecutive year, Canada has trailed behind the U.S. placing second overall in its connectedness, according to a report released earlier in the week by The Conference Board of Canada.
The report entitled Cashing in on Canadian Connectedness: The Move to Demonstrating Value is the fourth in an annual series that ranks Canada’s progress in connectedness against nine other Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Economies or e-10 countries: the U.S., Sweden, Finland, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Japan, France and Italy.
The report defines connectedness as the availability and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and associated services to facilitate communications, interactions and transactions, whenever and wherever.
The report breaks down connectedness into four subcategories: the availability of ICTs, their price, reach and use. Canada came out on top in the price category and its availability remains strong, according to the report. For reach, Canada tied with the U.S. for second place behind Sweden, and also slipped to second place behind the U.S. in the use of ICTs.
Although Canada places well in the four categories, the fact that the other countries are “closing the gap” suggests that there is much room for improvement, according to the report. The Conference Board outlined four areas in which Canada could make connectedness advancements — e-health, online learning, government online and e-business.
The report suggests that if Canada wants to be competitive in an increasingly globalized and digital economy, “then those producing online content should take better advantage of the Internet medium” and going beyond simply posting information on the Web.
There are four ways that improved connectedness can better an organization’s overall performance, according to the survey, including: enhancing interactions to facilitate knowledge transfer; improving operations; enabling the reconfiguration of business systems; and creating entire new business opportunities.