e-Talk Radio: Rubin, Howard, 12 September 2000

[article]
Rebroadcast 24 October 2000

these high productivity producers was not up there as expected. So we got a different distribution than we expected. On the other side of that, though, to be fair, we also looked a lot at software quality. So while Canada was highest in productivity, although the quality was reasonable, it was the weakest quality in terms of software code quality versus the U.S. and India. So in fact there's lots of things to look at when you look at the …………. of IT, software engineering competitiveness. So that was one of the things we found. And we continued this. We've been doing this worldwide. I teach ………… benchmark study continuously right now. It's literally updated on my Web page, on metricsnet.com monthly. We've been able to follow almost seven years now of detailed trends. (inaudible)

Carol: And your measures (inaudible). You've got a new e-economy index.

Howard: Right. The e-economy index is not only looking at software productivity and quality. We've decided to try to index national performance as a way of having, I hate to use the word competitors, but a way of gauging a country's sort of global new economy, e-economy power. So we've developed an index, a system that looked at a number of factors, and the factors have to do with infrastructure, work force, and contributions like that, to be able to rate the strength of nations, but also to be able to take that index and break it into its component parts. You could start to take a look at the individual strengths of nations that would be players in the global economy.

Carol: Right. And how has the U.S. government, in particular, I knew you're on the Vice President's private sector task force, for the G-8. How has the U.S. in particular started to (inaudible)?

Howard: Major companies in the U.S. have taken a keen interest in the digital divide, and the President has sort of put out a call to action before the G-8 summit meeting in July in Japan, in which he asked major U.S. corporations about what they could be doing in contributing to the worldwide picture in helping developing nations so they don't end up on the wrong side of the digital divide. I'm actually part of that group, and our data of mapping …….. you rate the index, the global new economy index, of a country in sort of a vertical bar chart. On this vertical bar chart you start to find groups of nations that rank similarly, and then it drops off like a continental shelf. So our data has been used to help that map, I should say, the digital divide. On behalf of some folks in the U.N. we've actually taken our global new economy index and matched it to a human development index that the U.N. uses for the quality of life in countries. So our data has been used as sort of an unofficial backdrop for a lot of the work that's going on, and contributed to this pool on the digital divide initiative. And actually, the U.S. government has been talking about (inaudible).

Carol: And I think it's really graphic that you said that it's really like this continental shelf, it just drops off. And hopefully, the U.S., North America, dominates the positive side.

Howard: Right. If you're in the top end of this sort of digital divide shelf, and you start to see what nations start to cluster together, there are the countries that you'd expect like the U.S. and Japan, and Australia, the Netherlands and so on, I guess the top

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