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South Korea, Bulgaria Shine as Cloud Expo Approaches

The Tau Omega Rankings Show Leaders & "Countries of Opportunity"

As Cloud Expo in New York approaches, I'm working to update my Tau Index country rankings. The index integrates economic data with national ICT expenditures, Internet access and speeds, and societal factors.

I've created a "raw" index that simply measures the amount of ICT purchased on a relative, "pound-for-pound" basis that accounts for the local cost-of-living in the 82 countries I was able to research. In addition to an overall Top 25 list, I've created smaller lists of regional leaders and leaders by income category.

Then I've created a more nuanced, "Omega" list that incorporates the technology and societal factors. All of the underlying information is publicly available - from organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations, and the International Telecommunications Union - but the weighting is done with a proprietary algorithm intended to smooth out the raw data's rough edges and to reflect the "street-level" reality of these countries.

The purpose of this research is to derive a ranking system that provides a more level view of the nations of the world. So many rankings I see are absolute, and simply show rich nations on top, poor countries on the bottom, and a bunch of developing nations in the middle. This is not a criticism, as I use a lot of this information as the foundation of my relative calculations. My purpose is to derive something that's unique and refreshing.

What Does It Mean?
A high listing in the Omega index most likely indicates that the nation is progressing quickly and relatively smoothly toward strong economic growth, fueld by ICT productivity. A high listing in some of the regional and income-tier groups may also indicate some societal turbulenc, given the often-disruptive power of information technology.

The Tau Index is certainly not meant to find the "best" nations when it comes to their ICT expenditures. It does have an implication that all of the leading nations are on a trajectory for rapid economic advancement, for good and bad.

The laggards on the list have a few of today's popular countries - Brazil and Indonesia, for example. My take is that the blooms will soon be off of these roses if they don't turn more toward the sunshine and energy of ICT.

Many of the other laggards are also economic laggards, and should be considered countries of opportunity, in my opinion. Some of the very lowest rankings I've discovered belong to intriguing countries that could quickly turn things around with whatever change is necessary to make them more aggressive ICT deployers - Venezuela, Paraguay, Libya, Serbia, to list a few examples.

Coming to Cloud Expo
I've conducted all of this research with the assistance of Cloud Computing Journal and Computerworld Philippines.

I don't expect wholesale changes to the results that I'll present at Cloud Expo, although I do expect some nations to move up and down. The Tau Index measures societal torque, and by extension, volatility. The Index's leaders, particularly among developing nations, are very dynamic, even combustile places. They are the ideal places for individuals and companies who like to roll the dice a bit and are seeking (or validating) sources, locations, partnerships, and investments.

The Index's leaders among developed nations would appear to be the most dynamic, yet stable, nations within a sometimes unstable developed world.

I wrote about the leaders of the raw Tau Index in October. Here are those results.

Then here are the Tau Index Omega leaders as of late 2011. I'm looking forward to see how things change in the results I'll present at Cloud Expo.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

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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