Worldwide: Impact Of Digital Disruption Worldwide

Last Updated: September 24 2019
Article by David Brennan and Alexandra Brodie

In our latest report, Tides of Disruption: How to navigate business transformation, we highlight key markets and their current readiness for digital disruption, as well as in the future. The likes of the UK, the US, France, Germany and Singapore were listed as being 'ahead of the wave', while UAE and China were 'just keeping up'. In this article, we expand on the report's commentary in greater detail to explore the impact of digital disruption worldwide on the ability of different jurisdictions to remain attractive to fast-moving industries.

To arrive at our conclusions, we have analysed the World Economic Forum's Networked Readiness Index 2016, alongside the markets' capacity for future innovation outlined by the Economic Intelligence Unit's Technological Readiness Ranking.

Our analysis reveals the current standing of major global economies - those that have always lagged behind, those with the benefit of years at the forefront of technological advancement and those in the middle - while also indicating the extent to which these nations will continue along their current trajectory.

Countries ahead of the wave of digitalisation

UK - sustaining momentum in future innovation

Our report highlighted the UK is 'ahead of the wave', yet it finds itself in a complicated position; it is currently among the most advanced nations on earth with regard to technological readiness, however, against the backdrop of a changing political and economic situation and projected stagnation in future innovation, it faces a challenge to sustain its advantage.

One potential barrier to growth in the UK is that while boards have become more tech-aware in order to get the most from technology, IT departments need to become more business-aware in order to create bespoke technological solutions for companies, rather than retro-fitting technological advances to fit a business purpose.

United States - blockchain a weak link

Unlike the UK, the United States is strong and will only get stronger on the global stage when it comes to readiness for digitalisation. The United States is already among the most advanced nations when it comes to tech, and while it will not grow this ability to the same extent as Sweden, Australia or France, as identified in our report, there will be enough progress to remain among the top five tech-ready nations on earth.

One area in which the United States does lag significantly behind its advanced rivals is in blockchain. 16% of senior executives surveyed1 in the United States in 2018 said that their organisation would make no investment in blockchain in the next year; compared to 6% in Canada, 3% in the UK and 1% in Germany. In the same survey, all respondents from China, France, and Mexico said they would be making investment.

France - employment challenges through automation

France is one of the big movers when it comes to future innovation and is largely investing in order to compete with its European rivals Germany and the UK. Indeed, while France is ranked joint-22nd for current readiness, the nation is set to be the joint-3rd most tech-ready country in 2022, alongside Finland, the Netherlands, the US, Germany, and Japan.

Barbara Jouffa, Paris-based Gowling WLG Corporate Partner adds: "By 2022, two of the three largest employment sectors in France will be wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing, accounting for a combined 25.1% of employment2. This represents little change from 2017, when the figure was at 25.7%. However, as automation brings down the cost of manufacture and logistics, reshoring could see outsourced manufacturing 'jobs' - performed by robots - return to France which could destabilise employment composition."

Germany - being reshaped by automation

While Germany is currently positioned ahead of the wave, there is significant risk of disruption to German industry from automation, with manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade the two largest projected employment sectors in the country in 2022. Here, manufacturing will account for 18.2% of jobs, while wholesale and retail trade will account for 13.7% for a combined 31.9% of German jobs.

Despite ranking highly on a number of metrics, there are concerns about Germany's ability to keep pace with its rivals3. Berlin and Frankfurt, have been seen as hotspots for start-ups, but as Germany turns its attention to AI, its strengths may lie in its existing industries, namely manufacturing4 . However, to counter balance this, Germany does have a very strong score for e-Governance, ranking 12th globally and scoring higher than other advanced technological countries like Norway and Switzerland.

As Manuela Finger, a Munich-based IP partner at Gowling WLG, explains: "The framework in Germany for digitalisation is very good - Germany ranked sixth in the digital readiness index 20185 - but it needs more courage and willingness to really innovate. Many German companies focus above all on efficiency rather than real 'added value' - mainly using innovation to improve existing products - and therefore do not fully exploit their innovation potential. Also, there clearly needs to be more investment in digitalisation in general."

Canada - cyber security underpins future tech readiness

Canada is one of the world's most prepared countries when it comes to developing and deploying technological innovation - a position that is only expected to strengthen in the years ahead.

While Toronto - which continues to rival the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City in tech job creation - has helped put Canada's tech sector in the global spotlight, it's only part of the picture. Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver also rank among the top markets in North America for tech talent according to a 2019 CBRE report 6, while Waterloo Region continues to punch far above its weight in terms of its ability to cultivate ground-breaking startups and be a powerhouse of tech talent. Hamilton has also experienced dramatic growth in tech and advanced manufacturing, and has fast become a leader in those sectors among Canadian mid-sized cities.

"In recent years, Canada has woken up to its position as a major global tech hub, and has responded with an array of new initiatives designed to attract talent and investment from around the world," said Viona Duncan, co-chair of Gowling WLG's Global Tech Group. "From revamping its intellectual property regulatory framework and courting skilled foreign workers through its 'Global Talent Stream' program, to launching a CDN$950-million 'Innovation Supercluster Initiative,' Canada has signalled to the world that it intends to remain a competitive force in this space."

With Canadian offices in Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo region, Gowling WLG has not only witnessed Canada's tech revolution first-hand, but has also had the opportunity to participate meaningfully in a number of major commercial and legislative milestones that have transformed the sector as a whole.

Singapore - little disruption amid sea of change

Singapore is technologically the most advanced nation on earth, ranking the highest for current readiness, while also being ranked as the joint-most sophisticated nation for future innovation for the years from 2018 to 2022.

Driven by consistent performance across metrics, including having launched its first cyber security masterplan in 2005, and updating it in 2016 with its cyber security strategy; this has overseen measures that include air-gapping government IT, having accepted the impossibility of securing such a complex IT infrastructure online.

These measures - particularly the measures to protect the digital information of government and civil service officials - have possibly contributed to one of the few areas of decline in Singapore's technological profile. Singapore remains the 7th highest ranked country globally for e-Government development - behind only Denmark, Australia, South Korea, the UK, Sweden and Finland. However, this represents a fall of three places from 4th in 2016 with Denmark, Sweden and Finland leapfrogging the world's first 'Smart Nation'.

By 2022, 27.9% of Singapore's employment will be within the wholesale and retail trade and manufacturing industries - two industries relatively vulnerable to automation. However, Singapore is forecast to undergo fairly little disruption in its employment composition. From 2017 to 2022, the proportion of those employed in retail and manufacturing is set to fall by just 0.5%, from 28.4%.

Partner Sheena Jacob of Singapore-based JurisAsia, which Gowling WLG formed an exclusive association with last year, said: "Although the move by the Singapore government to disconnect its internal IT government network from the internet appears to have affected its global technology rankings, it remains ranked number two in the world for online services.

"In fact, ongoing global cyberattacks and the apparent increase in state cyber warfare may in the long run demonstrate that the benefits to national cybersecurity outweigh the disadvantages. Singapore remains heavily committed to investment in technology, and its various initiatives, including Smart Nation, will continue to remain at the forefront of its national policies."

Countries just keeping up with digitalisation

China - AI leader but poor cyber-security is potential threat

While at the frontier of technological development, Chinese businesses are driving some of the most interesting innovations in artificial intelligence and telecommunications.

China is one of the strongest emerging nations for measures like e-commerce, however, when it comes to international patents granted or R&D spending as a percentage of GDP, China's level is not that of an international powerhouse - although it is clear from the dramatic increase of patent applications in China that this position is shifting. It is also held back by relatively poor cyber security and e-Governance infrastructure. According to the ITU's Global Cyber Security Index, China scores a 0.62 (1.00 is the highest), while the nation's score for e-Governance is 0.68 in the United Nations' e-Government Development Index, placing them 65th globally.

Jamie Rowlands, Chief Representative Officer of our Guangzhou office says: "China continues to try to shift from a manufacturing hub to more of a knowledge-based economy and technology is at the core of this. While there is still work to do, new regulations relating to cyber security demonstrate China's intentions of being a world leader in digitalisation in the future".

UAE - public sector driving innovation

The United Arab Emirates holds its own with regard to technological readiness for digitalisation, ranking joint-22nd for current readiness alongside France and the Republic of Ireland.

By 2021, Dubai hopes to run all of its governmental processes through blockchain technology, a move that will have implications for both e-Governance and cybersecurity in the emirate. The UAE is currently ranked 21st in the world for e-Governance, up eight spots from its 2016 ranking, very much in line with the other aspect of the nation's tech infrastructure.

If, as expected, Dubai achieves its aim by 2021 through embracing and implementing blockchain in public service provision, it should also boost its cyber security performance. Currently, in the ITU's Global Cyber Security Index, Dubai scores a 0.57 (1.00 is the maximum score) and the 47th highest score globally. With the efforts made by the Government for Dubai to excel in all it does, we expect the emirate to move up in these rankings in the coming years.

Tony Fielding, Partner of the Gowling WLG Dubai Technology, Media and Telecoms practice is of the view that "the UAE is, and wants to continue to be, an early adopter of innovation. The Emirate is embracing all forms of technological innovations to pursue its digital ambitions. New laws are being drafted to address issues of cyber security, data protection and cloud deployment in the Dubai government sector, as well as initiatives for implementing digital health platforms, artificial intelligence and local telecoms companies rolling out 5G technologies; not to mention its investment in incubators such as the Fintech Hive, Dubai Future Accelerators and other tech-focussed initiatives that underpin the Emirate's ambitions."

Understanding the impact of digital disruption and digitalisation

For more on our timeline of disruption, as well as our look at different countries' readiness for digital disruption and emerging new business models please download Tides of Disruption: How to navigate business transformation.

Footnotes

1 Deloitte; 2018 Global Blockchain Survey

2 International Labour Organisation; Jobs by Industry Dataset, 2017

3 Handelsblatt Global; What's wrong with Germany's tech scene?, 2017

4 Politico; Germany's €3B plan to become an AI powerhouse, 2018

5 The Digital Readiness Index of Gartner and Cisco, 2018

6 2019 Scoring Tech Talent, CBRE Research. 16 July 2019

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
7 Nov 2019, Seminar, Birmingham, UK

Providing content specifically tailored to the needs of GCs and Heads of Legal working in government organisations and their affiliates.

14 Nov 2019, Seminar, London, UK

Providing content specifically tailored to the needs of GCs and Heads of Legal working in government organisations and their affiliates.

 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions