International Information Technology


I always include some international IT discussion in my classes.  It is a point of personal interest for me since I have worked overseas (two years in a health center in Korea as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the early 1970s, and a year teaching computer science at the University of Namibia in Southern Africa in the mid-90s).  But I also think the topic is important even for people who have never left the country.  All our businesses are becoming increasingly involved in international trade and are either acquiring foreign companies or are being acquired by international partners.  In short, we need to watch what is going on internationally.


To describe the technology infrastructure available in various parts of the world, use the following URL. It will give you current data from the United Nations about countries all over the world.  As you will see from the table of contents that appears, there are many kinds of data kept, much of which you should find interesting.  We will be most concerned with tables – 11,12 and 13 – “to Acquire Knowledge.”


What statistics do they consider important?  What aspects of technology infrastructure do they ignore?  In general, what do the numbers tell you about the kind of support businesses have in each of these countries?  If you were expanding your business overseas, where would you expect to find good resources, and where would you expect to have trouble?  Which numbers would be most important to you as you evaluated countries for expansion?


For this week, let’s begin with these questions:


  1. Which countries do you think will be leaders in coming decades?  What are they doing to prepare themselves for business leadership?


  1. Which countries are doing better than the average person might realize?  Where are the surprises?