The Nordic nations are leading the information technology revolution in Europe.

Per Magnus Wijkman of the Union of European Industry and Employers' Federation told the Federation of European Risk Management Associatons (Ferma) forum that Europe was "divided into north and south in the digital drive".

The Nordic countries lead the tables on the number of computers, secure servers and percentage of mobile phone subscribers per head of population. They also have the highest technological expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product and the largest number of online accounts as a percentage of total bank accounts.

Meanwhile, the UK, Germany and France come in the middle of most tables and Spain, Greece, Portugal and some of the new Eastern European countries lag at the bottom.

Wijkman said countries got the greatest return from their investment in technology if they ensured it was integrated into business strategies.

He said technology properly employed could make markets "more perfect, deeper, more efficient and competitive."