Good news for India, and Bengaluru in particular. Bengaluru beats San Francisco to emerge on top in ‘best digital environment’ survey.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has conducted this survey, which considered the views of over 2,600 executives in 45 cities around the world, as well as one-on-one interviews with 15 business leaders.
The study is undertaken to understand which city is the best host for providing the best digital environment.
While the survey is exhaustive, we bring to you some of the parameters that were looked at by the survey team.
1. Role of local educational institutions in supplying talent important
Hiring skilled people and financial constraints are perhaps the two most prevalent problems that many start-ups face. The role of local educational institutions thus becomes very important for these business ventures. They can bridge the gap by providing good skilled workers.
Digital security and advanced data analytics are identified as the two most critical skills needed for transformation, with softer skills such as networking also a top priority.
2. Central and State governments must work to strengthen the cybersecurity measures
For any start-up to thrive, it is essential that they have good cyber-security practices in place.
Businesses must feel confident enough to operate in that city.
Citing a case study in digital security, the report mentioned that it was surprising to see train riders in San Francisco unable to pay their fares, as hackers had attacked the system’s computers, encrypting all its data, and were demanding a ransom to return it.
3. Confidence in the overall digital environment
While India is plagued with many problems; poverty, pollution, malnutrition, the optimism and zeal to work towards making India digitally strong is very high.
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This enthusiasm coupled with the present governments ‘Digital India’ campaign has worked in its favour in clinching this title.
4. Governments should be willing to share open government data
The report suggests that most governments are sitting on a data goldmine. Making government data available will encourage businesses and app providers to use that data to come up with innovations. Large firms also use such data to provide new services to their existing customers.
An example is Arup, a London-headquartered engineering and construction services provider, which created an online risk assessment service for clients utilising available public data on environmental hazards.
Alpesh Shah of BCG India attributes the vibrant digital environments in all three cities (Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi) to the innate entrepreneurialism of its business people, but not to local government. “Nothing is being done proactively by governments to help digital transformation. The best things governments do there is to stay out of the way.”
The cities that were covered by this survey: Adelaide, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Birmingham, Brussels, Brisbane, Chicago, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid, Manila, Marseille, Milan, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Osaka, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Perth, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Shanghai, Seoul, Shenzhen, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Taipei and Yokohama.