Switzerland has moved up three spots in the rankings published today in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking compared with the previous year. The country now ranks fifth, behind the US, Singapore, Sweden and Denmark. We are pleased with the results and see further potential for improvement in Switzerland, particularly in the area of education and political involvement. 

 

We asked our Managing Director Nicolas Bürer for a short interpretation of the results.

1. How do you explain the rise to fifth place (from eighth last year) in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2018?

It’s pleasing to see that Switzerland has made progress in the area of digital competitiveness; this is crucial if we are to succeed in the digital future. Compared with a year ago, we have made major progress to better prepare Switzerland for the digital future. The average Swiss person is now more closely engaged with digitalisation-related topics and is using new technology more and more in their everyday lives. We’re seeing a shift in people’s thinking, albeit slowly – in typically Swiss fashion, one step at a time. That’s a good thing, but being overly cautious can also slow progress. I wish that we would all be bolder and more eager to experiment with new technology!

2. What else do we need to become the number one digital player globally?

Switzerland must become a digital innovation hub as quickly as possible. This includes involving people, companies and politicians alike and persuading them to be part of the digital transformation. Only when we have all stakeholders on board the digital high-speed train – no matter whether it’s in the cities or in rural areas, young or old, women or men – will we be able to continue our steady course of development. Switzerland has all the necessary prerequisites to do this, but we must be willing to seize the opportunities and possibilities, without our fears making the hurdles even higher.

3. What is Switzerland doing right when it comes to digitalisation, and where is there room for improvement?

When it comes to education, we are certainly in a good position with our universities, in particular the two Federal Institutes of Technology. If we dig deeper, however, we see that there is still a lot of work to be done at primary and secondary school level, for example. We need to move forward here. A shift towards a general philosophy of life-long learning in Switzerland would be helpful in this endeavour. The era when you completed your school diploma and then simply sailed all the way to retirement is definitely a thing of the past. Our nextgeneration and eeducationdigital initiatives, as well as Digital Day on 25 October 2018, are examples of real projects for modern continuing education and are part of our work to raise awareness among the public at large.

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Author Niniane Paeffgen, digitalswitzerland

Senior Project Manager Politico-Economic Environment

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