Assessment of readiness for smart transformations with account of the environmental component

Mariia Yu. Zanizdra


To assess the readiness of national economies for the transition to Industry 4.0 an alternative approach to cross-national comparisons is proposed. This approach takes into account the environmental component of smart transformations in addition to the analysis of infrastructure provision, financial opportunities, innovative activity, and competence of manufacturers and consumers of smart products.The feature of the approach is the formation of a number of matrices, similar to BCG Matrix analysis, which in a variety of ways combine a set of selected indicators: GDP, innovation and information and communication technologies’ development indices, competitiveness, environmental footprint, environmental performance, etc. at the national level. The analyzed sample includes 118 economies of the world, which differ in economic and technological development, institutional environment and geographical location. As a result, several matrices, that displayed causal relationships between variable combinations of indicators, were formed. This made it possible to quantify the distribution of countries that belong to the sample by conditional sectors: "smart leaders" (+/+), "potential leaders" (+/- or -/+) and "lagging behind" (-/-). The boundaries that divide the space of matrices into sectors are the arithmetic mean values of the indicators that are located on their axes.Also, the variability of the analysis made it possible to track the movement of countries from sector to sector, when changing combinations of indicators. The most efficient economies that maintain their position in the sector of "smart leaders" with all the considered combinations of indicators in the matrices were identified. They are: UK, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland. Despite some volatility of the countries in the groups, the composition of the largest sectors - "smart leaders" and "lagging behind" - was quite stable (approximately 67%). The most unstable is the composition of the "potential-leaders" sectors (+/- and -/+).Comparative analysis of a representative sample of economies also allowed justifying the presence of dominant trends and describing the existing causal relationship between the indicators of digitalization, innovation, environmental friendliness and competitiveness.The current position of Ukraine in the global rankings was characterized. According to most of the compiled matrix variants, Ukraine belongs to the sector of "lagging behind" countries and has levels of ICT development, innovation activity, global competitiveness and environmental efficiency lower than average in the sample. However, the location of Ukraine in the matrices indicates proximity to borders, separating sectors. That is, under favorable conditions, it can be moved from the group of "lagging behind" to one of the groups of "potential leaders". In addition, judging by the energy intensity of the economy and the size of the environmental footprint, the country has some potential for further smart development without a critical deterioration of the environmental situation.Prospects for further researches are: development of methodology for assessing the capacity of smart markets, taking into account the environmental characteristics of the life cycle of smart products, as well as the rationale for a set of planned indicators in the strategy of environmentally friendly smart transformation of the industry of Ukraine.


GDP; index; innovation; information and communication technology; competitiveness; national economy; smart transformation; environmental footprint; environmental performance

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