Australia’s ranking in global standards for the adoption of technology has fallen in the last year, according to new international reports.
The updated Global Competitiveness Report 2019 by the World Economic Forum has ranked Australia 16th out of 141 separate economies, with ICT adoption being one of the country's significant failings.
Compared to last year, the nation's score remained relatively unchanged at 78.7, a decline of only 0.2 per cent.
While Australia held strong in the categories of macroeconomic stability, skills and financial system development, and the report claimed the country is largely in line with the OECD average, its weakest ratings were found in infrastructure and ICT adoption, where it came 29th in both categories.
The report highlighted this ICT adoption rating "trails both China and the Russian Federation", which ranked 19th and 22nd, respectively. In this category, Australia just managed to surpass Bulgaria, which came in 30th.
Within the ICT adoption category, Australia was particularly let down by the mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions per 100 population subcategory, coming in at 80th.
Its second-most under-performing category was fibre internet subscriptions per 100 population, ranked at 36th.
Meanwhile, its best performing ICT adoption subcategory ranking was mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 population at 10th.
Australia’s ICT adoption standards released in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 coincide with the findings in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 report from the Institute for Management Development (IMD), released in late September.
In the IMD’s report, Australia was ranked 14th out of 63 countries, declining one place from 2018. Its digital rankings also slipped down one place to 14th.
In the IT integration category, the IMD considered Australia’s ranking in e-government to be one of the nation's strengths, coming in at second place.
According to the IMD report, e-government is defined as “how a country is using information technologies to promote access and inclusion of its people” based on provision of online services, telecommunication connectivity and human capacity.
However, the IMD also considered the country’s communications technology and digital/technological skills to be some of its major weaknesses, ranked 54th and 44th, respectively.