Extract from executive summary
International leaders face an era of unprecedented change. The recession and financial crisis that ended in 2009 caused a seismic shift that has reshaped the global business landscape. The world economy is now characterized by sluggish growth in the West, a shift in power to the East, and value-driven customers and rising risks everywhere. At the same time, the downturn has hastened the adoption of key technologies—mobility, cloud computing, business intelligence and social media—that are transforming businesses and sparking a new wave of wealth creation, particularly in the emerging world.
Economic growth and technology are inextricably linked. Current economic conditions are fostering investment in technology as emerging markets ramp up their demand for technology to fuel growth, and advanced markets seek new ways to cut costs and drive innovation. This becomes a virtuous circle as digital technologies drive consumer income and demand, education and training, and efficient use of capital and resources—leading to increased economic growth, particularly in emerging markets. Executives must be aware of the new challenges facing their firms as market momentum accelerates. Rising middle classes in places like China and India offer extraordinary potential for companies that understand their needs. Emerging markets are also spawning rivals that are unencumbered by legacy systems and corporate bureaucracy—with their sights set on advanced economies.
This global survey of 363 business executives was conducted in December 2010. Of the respondents, 19% hailed from the US, 20% from the UK, 15% from India, 14% from Japan, and 8% each from China, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The survey represented a broad range of industries, including financial services (26%); manufacturing (19%); technology, information, communication and entertainment (18%); retailing and consumer products (15%); and life sciences and healthcare (11%).
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