As the world has become more connected, the importance of remaining up-to-date in a digital economy has been drilled into regional economies – from the biggest corporations to the smallest start-ups.

What the Digital IQ report reveals is just how various regions of the world compare when it comes to various elements of digital competitiveness. While North American remains the undisputed leader, some nations are lagging behind.

Europe has seen a significant improvement in its tech scene over the last few years. This is especially evident in its treatment of new trends such as crowdfunding – legislation has been introduced in the United Kingdom allowing crowdfunding sites to distribute equity.

Some nations in Europe have also been particularly focused in tech innovation, such as Sweden, where the country has launched success stories such as Spotify and Skype.

However, Europe is lagging in some other elements of the digital economy. The Digital IQ report shows relationships between the CIO and other C-suite executives is lacking in the region compared to other nations.

In particular, 61% said the relationship between the CIO and CEO was “strong” or “very strong”, compared to 69% of the overall average.

Europe believes its Digital IQ is on par with the regional average, with 63% of the respondents saying they have a “strong/very strong” Digital IQ – about the global average.

This is reflected in whether European respondents believe technology changes will have a significant impact on their businesses, with 92% saying breakthroughs will have a major or moderate impact, compared to 88% overall.

However, there is a disconnect in some of the results. Among the European respondents, only 40% of the IT spend was accounted for in the CIO’s IT budget – this compares to 53% of the overall average.

While these results can be interpreted in a number of ways, it’s clear IT budgets are beginning to fall outside the scope of the CIO’s maintenance. This will be an important trend to monitor, especially as the barriers between the digital parts of the business and everything else begin to break down, and they become one and the same.

You can access regional results from the Digital IQ survey here.



John Riccio

John is PwC’s Global Design & Deploy, Experience Consulting partner.

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