The Cisco company launched its 2019 Global Digital Preparation Index last week, an investigation that calculates the digital readiness of 141 countries. It studies 7 components such as basic needs, business and government investment, among others, in order to create digital economies.

In the ranking, Costa Rica ranks 1st at the Central American level, but overall it is number 47. Cisco described Costa Rica as “accelerated” in terms of digital preparation. That is, it is in the group of countries that have taken important steps in digitalization, but it has opportunities for improvement.

Technology has the potential to be the biggest catalyst for economic and social progress”, said Tae Yoo, Cisco Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “In every corner of the world, digital technology helps us to be more connected with each other and with the organizations we trust. Open markets, create jobs and better connect citizens and customers”, Yoo added.

Global ranking

Some important results of the study are:

• The United States ranked 1st in North America, being the number 3 overall

• Chile is the 1st place in South America, in box 34

• Costa Rica is the best placed in Central America, in 47th place

• Of the 10 largest economies in the world by total GDP, only the United States ranked among the top 10 places in the ranking, but preparation varies in each area of ​​the country, which also occurs in other nations

• Singapore ranked 1st with a strong performance in all 7 components, including the highest score in human capital and business and government investment

• Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland and Singapore are the top 5 countries in Technological Infrastructure

• The United States, Canada, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are the top 5 countries in technology adoption

• Japan, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Iceland are the top 5 countries in basic needs

• Singapore, Iceland, New Zealand, Switzerland and Kazakhstan are the top 5 countries in human capital

• Luxembourg ranked highest in Europe, in 2nd place overall

• Israel ranked highest in the Middle East, 21 overall.

According to the company, technological infrastructure and adoption are solid indicators of the digital preparation of a country. However, Cisco research shows that technology alone is not the answer.

Of course, taking certain actions will help countries in their digital future:

• Developing skills

• Ensuring that basic human needs are met

• Creating a favorable and newly created business environment

• And making private and public investments in innovation and technology

The factors that affect the digital preparation of a country differ depending on which of the three stages fails. Those countries in the “Active” stage would benefit mainly from improvements in basic needs and human capital development.

According to the report, although the countries in the “Amplified” stage lead the digital preparation, there is still much room to move forward. These countries obtained a good universal score for basic needs, including access to drinking water and electricity, and the ease of doing business, but they must continue to invest.

All countries could benefit from an additional investment in Technological Infrastructure, such as broadband access, secure Internet servers and more. “At Cisco, we believe it is important to contribute research to help continuous dialogue about the future impact of technology,” Yoo added. “We hope to serve in partnership to close the digital divide and foster a more inclusive future, in which all citizens can participate and prosper,” he concluded.


In its 2nd edition, the Global Digital Preparation Index uses a 7-component model to measure digital readiness: basic needs, business and government investment, ease of doing business, human capital, startup environment, technology adoption, and technological infrastructure.

Each country’s score is based on standardized data from accredited sources, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations (UN). These data points were verified to ensure that all components correlated with each other, and a standardized index was created.