Ireland ranks highly for adoption of digital technologies

State moves up one place to 19th out of 63 economies in new IMD rankings

The Republic has moved up one place to 19th in a global ranking for adopting digital technologies.

The US tops the list followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, with the top five places unchanged from last year.

The IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking measures the capacity and readiness of 63 economies to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.

The State has steadily climbed up the rankings in recent years, rising six places compared with 2015. It is particularly highly regarded in the “future-readiness” category, where it comes in fifth place globally, due to factors such as having strong business agility and adaptive attitudes towards issues such as globalisation.


In the “knowledge” segment, the Republic ranks 24th globally, scoring highly for talent but faring less well for training, education and scientific concentration.

In the “technology” section, the State is placed 28th, with IMD rating it in the higher levels for its regulatory framework but poorly for its technological framework and for capital-related issues such as investment in telecommunications.

E-government indicators

Commenting on the move up the rankings, IMD said it stemmed from improvements in e-government indicators as well as positive executives’ perceptions on aspects related to supportive legislation for innovation, talent and capital availability.

“Investments in R&D as well as average internet bandwidth speed and wireless broadband penetration experienced a decline compared to 2018,” IMD said.

Looking at the top 10 nations globally for adopting digital technologies, Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea have entered the top 10 this year, while the Netherlands, Norway and Canada are also included.

"In the midst of uncertainty and a fluid global situation, it seems that business and societies that are agile correlate strongly with the IMD World Digital Competitiveness ranking. Knowledge also remains of paramount importance for the digital performance of different economies," said Prof Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist