Welcome!

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, @CloudExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

Russia Lags Badly in ICT Dynamics

As Sochi Olympics Open, We Take a Look at the Bear

With the Sochi Winter Olympics opening, it seems a good time to take a look at how Russia does in our research. There is some good news, although the country could certainly do much better.

No serious discussion of Russia today is possible without mention of country President Vladimir Putin. Indeed, this strongman is clearly on a personal mission to go into the history books alongside Peter the Great and Lenin as his country's most influential leaders.

Putin's influence is such that he's considered to be the most powerful person in the world by Time magazine, among other sources. His control over Russia's politics, media, culture, and business seems to be absolute.

Ironic Reality
Thus it may seem ironic to President Putin that his power is his country's biggest obstacle to progress. A few noteworthy items:

  • His country is perceived as being very corrupt, according to the Perception of Corruption Index, one of the factors we use in our research. Russia's PCI number ranks it 92nd among the 102 nations we survey - worse than Syria and Pakistan, for example.

  • A large income disparity that arose during Boris Yeltsin's time as Russia's leader does not seem to be improving under Putin. Russia finishes 68th in this category in our rankings, lower than China, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast, for example. Its ranking here is in dramatic contrast to neighboring Ukraine and several former Soviet satellite nations.

  • Business leaders who challenge Putin politically can get thrown into prison. This has had a chilling effect on foreign investment. Although Putin touts a recent tripling of foreign direct investment into the country (reaching $55 billion in the first half of 2013), capital outflow has exceeded outside investment in the country for several years. FDI is not one of the factors we measure, a lack of it will show up in the technology factors that we do measure.

In our overall rankings, Russia lags not only globally, but more important, in comparison to many of its neighbors. Russia finishes 80th in our overall rankings, and dead last among the 33 European countries we survey. It badly trails all of the former Soviet satellite states. Within its income tier (countries with per-person incomes between $13,000 and $30,000), Russia finishes 15th among 17 nations we survey, leading only Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Hope Spring Eternal
There is a glimmer of hope in our raw rankings, which de-emphasize the socio-eonomic factors. Here, Russia finishes is actually considered to be one of our "Goldilocks" countries - the dynamics of its ICT infrastructure shows an impact that is neither growing too rapidly (too hot), nor to slowly (too cold), but "just right." Other Goldilocks nations in the region include Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Putin has reputedly authorized more than $50 billion to be spent on the Sochi Olympics, an absurd amount that is more than six times the amount spent by Vancouver to hold a perfectly beautiful Olympics in 2010.

The $50 billion is equal to 2.5% of the country's GDP - this is comparable to spending $400 billion in the US. This amount is also enough to build new power plants for about two-thirds of Russia's population, or an entire year's worth of all the new datacenters in the world.

Apolitical Blues
We make no judgements on the form of governments in the nations we survey or on local politics. Our view is that the combination of factors that we integrate into our unique algorithms creates an accurate picture of what a nation's government is doing for its people.

For Russia right now, it's not a pretty picture. Although I stay quite busy, I will take Vladimir Putin's call if he tries to ring me. I doubt he will, as he seems not to listen to many people.

However, I do encourage him to look at his country's resources and people, and ease up a bit on his totalitarian tendencies. Investors would be happy to get excited about Russia again - as they did in 1991 - and work to improve a promising technology infrastructure that will only improve the lives of the country's people if developed more robustly.

Contact Me on Twitter

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
"We are a modern development application platform and we have a suite of products that allow you to application release automation, we do version control, and we do application life cycle management," explained Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...