Malta has been ranked as one of the leading countries in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) and has outperformed against nations such as the UK, France and Sweden. The index is an online tool created by the EU and used to quantify the progress of Member States towards a digital economy and society. Participating countries are scored according to their performance in five key areas which in turn represent more than 30 more specific indicators. These key areas are:
- Connectivity: Ease of access to different types of broadband e.g. fibre, high speeds available and affordability
- Human Capital/Digital Skills: Percentage of population and workforce using online and digital facilities as well as their skill in doing so
- Use of the Internet: Widespread use of online facilities from news to banking, shopping and other commercial applications
- Integration of Digital Technology: How business utilise the digital technologies available to them e.g. cloud based services, customer portals and intranets, e-commerce etc
- Digital Public Services: Availability and use of digital government portals or platforms to access services
Each individual area and its subsidiary indicators are given a specific number of points, based on their perceived relevance and importance and these are used to score each jurisdiction accordingly. The tool retains an element of flexibility, allowing users to adjust different point amounts for each indicator to see how it affects the final rankings.
The main function of DESI is to assist countries in identifying key areas for growth, investments and action in order to promote a robust Digital Single Market. This compliments the Commissions Digital Progress Report which is due in May 2016 and aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of how various states are progressing, and what they can do in order to improve their performance in the future.