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New measures for the digital economy

In some countries, digital infrastructure is still very basic, but in others, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, it is now an important part of their economies and a major driver of their national income and growth.

Tech giants  -ple & Microsoft are fighting for the title of largest US company. Here is an aerial photo of … [+]  -ple Park can be seen in Cupertino, California, United States on October 28, 2021. (Photo by Tayfun CoÅkun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

While the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of much of the global economy, not all countries are advancing at the same pace. The latest OECD data shows that in many countries such as Vietnam, Mexico and India, for example, the majority of companies do not yet have a website. And while there are a variety of metrics of a country’s digital advancement, many are polled or based on opinions that are simply not reliable. Other measures try to assess the digital economy taking into account the industry structure by country, or they simply look at the state infrastructure and do not take into account the activities and infrastructures within the private sector. It is time to create a more objective and reliable measure of the digital economy on a country basis. Fortunately, the means to do this already exist.

The Netherlands is now one of twelve countries (“The Digital Dozen”) where a technology company operates … [+] the greatest in this country. Here an employee makes his way to the AMSL laboratory, which is now the largest Dutch company. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) (Photo credit should be EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

By analyzing data from the global online intelligence platform BuiltWith, my colleagues and I explored new ways to measure a nation’s true digital footprint – from bottom to top. We have developed two new experimental measures on national digital infrastructure – one focuses on domestic digital infrastructure (DDI) and another examines a country’s online export ambitions (DXI).

We plan to develop these further and examine how they can be included in a future digital business investment index over the next year.

National digital strength

That first metric, Digital Domestic Infrastructure (DDI) has a domestic focus and simply looks at the number of websites in each country, using the top-level country domain as a simple filter on geogr -hy. Our digital infrastructure is much more than just websites and online services, but this is a useful guide on a national level for a country’s investments and assets in the digital economy. We also filtered for domains hosted by or invested in paid technology (a data feature that BuiltWith offers) to distinguish active websites from those that are inactive or being redirected – usually held by domain occupants. It also removes the number of hobby or personal websites because while there is an amazing range of free, open source technologies to be used in building digital services online, most commercial services now have at least one form of paid technology have in their mix.

National Strength – the number of websites per c -ita in each country using paid technology … [+] offers a new level of domestic digital infrastructure (DDI). Dates: BuiltWith, November 2021.

Paul X. McCarthy

Here we note that the top ten is led, perh -s unsurprisingly, by the United States and also includes the UK as well as a number of northern European countries (the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Oceania (New Zealand and Australia)).

Also in the top 10, Estonia is known for its progressive and innovative digital policy and its leadership role in eGovernment.

The flag of Estonia, home of e-residency, e-government, e-voting.


Global digital vision

While the first measure c -tures domestic infrastructure, it doesn’t say much about the number of export-oriented global digital companies in each country. This second metric: Digital Export Infrastructure (DXI) has an offshore focus and counts the number of websites registered in each country by their physical address, but only counts those that are outside the top-level country range; in other words, for example, websites registered in Canada that have a .uk domain, such as Shopify from Ottawa that registers shopify.co.uk from Canada.

Shopify Inc.’s headquarters are in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Shopify is based in Ottawa … [+] passed the Royal Bank of Canada and became Canada’s largest publicly traded company. Photogr -her: David Kawai / Bloomberg

© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP

Here, the top 10 countries compile a list similar to those with the largest domestic digital infrastructure, with the exception of Canada and Germany as standout countries that rank higher in their global digital export prospects and focuses.

Global digital mindset. Countries sorted by the number of websites registered in that country … [+] who use one foreign top-level domain per 100 inhabitants (data: BuiltWith, November 2021).

Paul X. McCarthy

New measures in line with the digital dozen and beyond

These two new measures are in line with the growing trend that the largest company in many countries is now a digital company. In twelve countries, the largest company is now a tech company, according to recent analysis I got inspired by an article and a recent m – of the world created by Visual C -italist.

While the companies on this list will change over time, the pattern stays the same as they are often usurped by another tech company. Microsoft z. B. is currently vying with  -ple and Google for the title of the largest company by market c -italization in the United States – both are now valued at over $ 2 trillion.

It is also interesting that many of the countries in this first “digital dozen” also rank high in terms of their digital domestic infrastructure and their digital export infrastructure (marked in dark green in the bar chart above).

The largest company in many countries is increasingly a technology company. Here are twelve that … [+] are already in this club. Source: Online Gravity & Data The Visual C -italist, October 2021.

Paul X. McCarthy

This trend will continue as more and more parts of the global economy come under the influence of the digital economy. In Australia, for example, Atlassian, the largest technology company, has more than doubled in value in the past twelve months and is now Australia’s third most valuable company behind Commonwealth Bank and BHP. At the current growth rates, Atlassian is likely to become Australia’s most valuable company in the months ahead. And many other countries are sure to join this club soon.

Atlassian, now among the top three largest companies in Australia by market c -italization, is emerging … [+] the largest company in the country if recent growth continues.

SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

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