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InformationWeek Analytics New Research Finds 68% of Business Technology Professionals Believe the United States Has Lost Its Position as a Global IT Innovation Leader
Aug 25, 2010 (01:08 PM EDT)


The top three reasons cited are offshore job movement, failure in education and national policy-making.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- InformationWeek Analytics, the leading service for peer-based IT research and analysis, today announced the release of its "Research: Innovation Mandate" report. Nearly 625 business technology professionals weigh in on whether the nation is losing its position as global IT innovation leader. Report author Rob Preston, VP/editor in chief of InformationWeek, oversees the editorial direction of the world's leading business technology media brand.

Research Summary:

For the better part of a decade, executives, economists, policy-makers, researchers, and other so-called experts have lamented the inexorable decline of the U.S. IT industry and the country's standing as the global technology leader. Reports with ominous titles have questioned whether U.S.-based IT vendors and the organizations they sell to have the technical chops, national backing and requisite will to out-innovate their counterparts in other countries.

While InformationWeek's editors can relate to the sense of national urgency, especially as the U.S. limps out of the worst recession in 30 years, they remain bullish. Most of the profound IT-based innovations of the past decade came from—and continue to come from—the U.S., not from Asia or Europe. But myriad commercial, economic, political, cultural, and other challenges are evident.

Findings:  

In this report, we explore why some of the industry's leading lights, as well as many survey respondents, think that U.S. tech competitiveness is in trouble. Some of their key concerns:

  • The offshoring of technology jobs to India and other countries is discouraging young Americans from pursuing tech careers and shipping innovation abroad. Among the 427 survey respondents who think the U.S. is losing or has lost its technology leadership position, 66%—the single highest percentage—cited offshore job movement as one of the top three reasons.

  • The U.S. education system isn't adequately preparing young students in the so-called STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—and U.S. companies aren't giving their employees sufficient technical training. Some 58% of respondents who think the U.S. is losing or has lost its technology leadership position cited a failure in education as a main reason. Most of the industry experts we interviewed agree.

  • The U.S., unlike Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Finland, and several other countries, hasn't had a cohesive national policy in technology areas such as mobile payments, intelligent electricity grids and transportation systems, green computing, and (until recently) broadband and electronic health records. Some 30% said they worry about a lack of technology leadership at the U.S. national policy-making level.

  • The U.S. government and U.S.-based companies don't spend enough on tech-based R&D and long-term innovation. Some 25% think "lack of leadership at the tech CEO level," including R&D investment, is a main reason for eroding U.S. tech competitiveness.

"Some of the survey respondents we interviewed for this groundbreaking report are concerned that Silicon Valley could become the next Detroit, with tech companies so entrenched in their traditional ways of doing business, and so overwhelmed by compliancy concerns and related issues, that they might just succumb to the pressure," says Lorna Garey, content director of InformationWeek Analytics. "We don't believe things are anywhere near that extreme—there's still a tremendous amount of innovation coming out of the United States—but we need to pump up the volume."

The U.S. government needs to test and benchmark students in K-12 against their peers in other countries, double R&D funding for tech-intensive agencies, and generally improve the environment for tech innovation by reducing corporate taxes, healthcare costs and regulations, according to former Intel chairman Craig Barrett, co-author of a series of recommendations on how the U.S. can maintain its global leadership role in tech innovation. "We have our priorities a little bit wrong," Barrett told InformationWeek Analytics when interviewed for the "Research: Innovation Mandate" report. "This is not a Republican or Democrat issue—it's the longstanding Washington, D.C., image that you don't make any investments beyond a two-year cycle because you don't get any return on investments for the next election cycle."

InformationWeek Analytics is a subscription-based service, offering peer-based technology research. Its site currently houses more than 900 reports and briefs, and includes a dedicated area where technology professionals can access complete issues of InformationWeek Magazine. More than 100 new reports are slated for release in 2010. InformationWeek Analytics members have access to:

  • The full InformationWeek Analytics library of reports
  • Peer-based research and analysis to guide buying and implementing decisions
  • More than 20 technology and IT business categories
  • New reports launched every week
  • Signature reports, such as the InformationWeek Salary Survey, InformationWeek 500 and the State of Security report

For more information on our membership programs please visit: http://analytics.informationweek.com/join

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The InformationWeek Business Technology Network provides IT executives with unique analysis and tools that parallel their work flow—from defining and framing objectives through to the evaluation and recommendation of solutions. Anchored by InformationWeek, the multimedia powerhouse that looks across the enterprise, the network scales across the most critical technology categories with online properties like DarkReading.com (security), IntelligentEnterprise.com (application architecture), NetworkComputing.com (networking and communications) and PlugintotheCloud.com (cloud computing). The network also provides focused content for key IT targets, such as CIOs, developers, SMBs and IT Support Managers via InformationWeek Global CIO, Dr. Dobb's, InformationWeek SMB and HDI, as well as vital vertical industries with InformationWeek Financial Services, Government and Healthcare sites. Content is at the nucleus of our information distribution strategy—IT professionals turn to our experts and communities to stay informed, get advice and research technologies to make strategic business decisions.

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Contact:

Art Wittmann


VP & Managing Director InformationWeek Analytics


415-947-6361


awittmann@techweb.com



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