Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

OECD Information Technology Outlook 2008


New edition released in November 2010:

ISBN: 978-92-64-05553-7
Published: 23/12/08 (pdf)
January 2009 (print)
Pages: 350


Information technology (IT) and broadband are major drivers of research, innovation, economic growth and social change. The 2008 edition of the OECD Information Technology Outlook analyses recent developments in the IT goods and services industries, and suggests that the outlook is for continued long-term growth, constrained by the currently very uncertain macroeconomic environment in OECD countries. 

Cross-border investment, trade, and mergers and acquisitions remain high, and ICTs drive globalisation in general. The industry is rapidly restructuring, and China and India are major suppliers of information and communications technology (ICT)-related goods and services.

The Internet is changing everyday life for 1.5 billion people worldwide, with their socio-economic standing influencing how they use the Web. The dynamic growth of digital-content-based creative industries is outlined, covering user-created content; online computer and video games; film, video and music; and online advertising. 

Recent trends in OECD ICT policies are analysed to assess whether they are rising to these new challenges. Highly prioritised policy areas include investing in ICT R&D and innovation, improving government online activities, spreading broadband, increasing the use of ICTs, raising ICT skills and employment, and supporting digital content development. Changing policy priorities are reviewed.

This edition has been extensively updated through November 2008 to take account of rapidly worsening economic conditions.

Access to the underlying Excel spreadsheets used to create the tables and graphs is available from both the printed and electronic editions via the StatLinks provided on each page.

Publication of the OECD Information Technology Outlook alternates every year with the OECD Communications Outlook (latest edition released August 2009).

Table of contents

Highlights (download)

Chapter 1. The IT Industry: Recent Developments and Outlook

Chapter 2. Globalisation of the IT Sector

Chapter 3. ICT Research and Development and Innovation

Chapter 4. Broadband and ICT Access and Use by Households and Individuals

Chapter 5. Digital Content in Transition

Chapter 6. Economic Implications of Broadband

Chapter 7. ICT Policy Developments

Annex. Methodology and Definitions


Sample data

Table 1.3. Top 50 ICT firms ranked by revenue in 2006

Figure 1.6. Top 250 ICT firms’ performance trends, 2000-07

Figure 1.13. Worldwide semiconductor market by region, 1990-2009

Figure 1.16. Share of ICT valued added in business sector value added,1995 and 2006

Figure 1.18. Share of ICT specialist occupations in the total economy, 1995 and 2007

Figure 1.20. Venture capital investments in ICT as a percentage of all venture capital investment, 2006

Figure 1.21. Quarterly venture capital investments in the ICT sector in the United States, Q1 1995-Q3 2008

Figure 1.23. OECD ICT spending by market segment, 2007

Table 1.A1.6. Top 10 software firms 

Table 1.A1.7. Top 10 Internet firms

Figure 2.1. World trade in ICT goods, 1996-2007

Figure 2.4. Top importers and exporters of ICT goods, 1996-2007

Figure 2.12. OECD and major emerging economies’ computer and information services trade, 2006

Figure 2.14. Electronics production, 2005 and 2008

Figure 2.18. Value of cross-border M&A deals in ICT and non-ICT sectors, 1995-2007

Figure 3.4. Growth of the largest R&D-spending sectors in the OECD area, 1993-2005

Figure 3.8. R&D expenditures in the United States, the EU15, Japan and Korea by ICT sub-sectors, 1996, 2003 and 2005

Figure 3.14 Reported R&D expenditures of top 100 ICT R&D spending firms, by sector, 2000 and 2006

Table 3.1. Top ICT R&D spenders: Absolute expenditure, 2006 and 2007

Figure 3.19. Japanese ICT R&D expenditures, in ICT and non-ICT sectors, 2006

Figure 4.2. Household access to the Internet in selected OECD countries, 1996-2007

Figure 4.5. Internet access by high, medium and low education level in selected OECD countries, 2007

Figure 4.12. Impact of broadband on selected Internet activities, selected OECD countries, 2007

Figure 5.1. Broadband growth, OECD total, 2003-2008

Table 5.1. Market size and growth, 2007 or latest available year

Figure 5.5. Bandwidth requirements of selected digital content types, in Mbit/s, 2008

Figure 5.7. Major film market revenues, 2006 (excluding TV market)

Table 7.A1.1 Ranking of ICT policy areas, 2008


Highlights brochure and summaries in other languages

A brochure presenting the highlights and main findings of the 2008 edition is available for free download in English and French.

Summaries in the following languages are also available:
Chinese | Czech | Danish | Dutch | Finnish | German | Greek
Hungarian | Icelandic | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Norwegian 
Polish | Portuguese | Russian | Slovak | Spanish | Swedish | Turkish


How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of the book choosing from the following options:


Earlier editions

2006: Information and highlights | Download

2004: Information | Highlights | Download

2002: Highlights | Download 

2000: Download


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