Australia has been ranked seventh in the world in a new report rating countries on how effectively they use technology, ahead of EU powerhouses such as Germany and France.
The report, compiled by Professor Leonard Waverman of the London Business School for Nokia Siemens Networks, rates countries according to how effective their use of ICT is relative their economic performance.
Waverman divided countries into two separate categories: innovation driven economies and resource and efficiency driven economies, as determined by the World Economic Forum.
Among the innovation-driven economies, the US topped the rankings with a final score of 6.97/10, while Australia was given a score of 5.93/10, ahead of Germany, France, Korea, Hong Kong, Italy and Spain.
Russia topped the list of resource and efficiency driven economies with a score 6.11/10, beating Malaysia and Mexico, and ranked well ahead of China and India, which scored 3.42/10 and 1.68/10 respectively.
According to the report, Russia ranked well in its category due to its higher levels of literacy and the emphasis on social development through technology usage.
"What the report does show is that there's a lot more work ahead of us, despite Australia ranking ahead of a number of EU countries," said Sheryle Moon, CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association. "It also talks about investing in complementary capital and workplace training which I think is very important," she said. "Australia's ranking is fair given the kinds of indicators they use. It correlates well with the European Union index and other studies like it, but this report definitely draws the connections between the infrastructure, the hardware and its usage patterns to determine where economies sit."
The study concluded that economic growth in innovation driven economies will increasingly depend on how the workforce adapts to new technologies.
"This study is a call to arms for government and businesses. In a period of great economic uncertainty there are great benefits to be gained from the effective use of communications infrastructure," Professor Ilkka Lakaniemi, head of global political dialogue at Nokia Siemens Networks, said in a statement.
"The use of connectivity technologies might be compared to the way Internet usage has evolved in recent years," he added. "Even the most advanced countries today have achieved only a first generation of connectivity, unable or unwilling to exploit the full potential of the tools, just as a decade ago, people had only just begun to scratch the surface of the usefulness of the Web," he said.