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The World's Greatest National IT Challenges

Not for the Faint of Heart

The world's five greatest national IT development challenges are presented by Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, and Tanzania. India takes sixth place in the world and second place in Asia, followed in Asia by Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Iran

Ukraine tops the list in Europe, followed by Russia, Italy, Poland, and Serbia. The greatest challenges in the Americas are offered by Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Honduras, and Ecuador (Brazil is sixth here).

Our Process
These findings are a function of our ongoing research at the Tau Institute. To identify the greatest challenges, we integrate our overall rankings into our rankings of current levels of technology change, then adjust for population size.

Larger nations tend to face larger challenges, just because they have more people. Combine a large population with a relatively undeveloped infrastructure and low per-person income levels, and the countries facing the greatest challenges emerge.

We encourage people to note that our research is relative, centered upon how well nation's are doing given their current economic resources and current acceleration of technological and socioeconoic change. This point of view brings the potential of Bolivia, for example, currently a highly underveloped nation, into focus.

We don't weigh parameters in a traditional way, ie assign certain percentages to each factor and then run a straight-line calculation. Instead, we plot all of our data on a series of exponential curves, and balancing technological development against socioeconomic issues such as poverty and corruption.

In Search of Dynamism
Further analysis is done by isolating the most currently dynamic IT environments among the nations with the greatest challenges. Poland and Ukraine fall into this category, as do Tanzania, Armenia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bolivia. These countries are on a positive course to address their current challenges.

Poland, in fact, has one of the most dynamic current IT environments in the world on a relative basis, and ranks among our Top 20 nations (among 103 surveyed) overall.

Our research can be sliced and diced in thousands of particular ways, to identify opportunities at all levels of challenge, potential, and opportunity. Our algorithms have some built-in flex that lets them be adjusted as needed by clients who wish to emphasize, augment or diminish specific or multiple factors.

For those in search of a high degree of difficulty, Cameroon may represent the ultimate challenge, according to our numbers. It ranks as the third-greatest challenge overall, but also lacks the dynamic IT development environment found in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. There are good people in Cameroon working for change, and a government commission focused on IT, but this nation could use several shots of oxygen to get its IT development (and by extension, its socio-economid development) in motion.

It's a beautiful country, with stupendous geographical and cultural diversity, and perhaps known to casual observers as a producer of good, entertaining national football (soccer) teams. Consider it to be the ultimate challenge for IT development.

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Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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