The 2020 Cisco Australian Digital Readiness Index determined digital readiness by examining seven components:
- Human capital: total labour force, adult literacy rate, population and years of schooling
- Basic needs: life expectancy, mortality rate, sanitation, access to electricity
- Ease of doing business: rule of law, logistics performance, infrastructure rating, time to get electricity
- Technology infrastructure: infrastructure available to enable digital activities and connected consumers (IoT, cloud)
- Technology adoption: mobile device penetration, internet usage, cloud services spend forecast, demand for digital services
- Start-up environment: strength of legal rights, time to start a business, venture capital availability
- Business and government investments: foreign direct investment, high-technology exports, government success in ICT promotion, private and public investment in innovation and technology
The first index since 2018, it found the ACT to be the most digitally ready due to its compact size and strong skills base in Canberra.
New South Wales moved ahead of Victoria to claim second place with a score of 15.10, following improved results for the start-up environment.
Western Australia remained in fourth place with gains in its scores for technology adoption and technology infrastructure.
Tasmania rose from seventh to fifth place, moving it ahead of South Australia and Queensland due to highest support among SMBs and ease of doing business.
The Northern Territory remains with the lowest index of the states and territories despite improvements in business and government investment.
Cisco Australia and New Zealand vice-president Ken Boal said digital readiness is a defining characteristic of successful 21st-century societies.
“It describes the level of capability that a society possesses for extracting value from digital technology and its capacity to share those benefits equitably,” Mr Boal said.
“Understanding our digital readiness at a country, state and territory level provides further understanding and supports decision-making in key areas where further investment or acceleration of capabilities may be required.”