Tuesday, 5 March 2013
European Business Leaders More Concerned about Losing Competitive Edge Compared to their Peers
European business leaders are more worried about
keeping up with the pace of change, than those in Asia and North
America. 45 per cent of Europeans said they were worried about not
being able to keep up with technology and losing competitive edge,
compared with 35 per cent in Asia and 37 per cent in North America.
The insights are from a new study called Humans and Machines, conducted
by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh. The research
investigates the impacts of technology upon human creativity and
432 senior executives were interviewed across Europe, North America and
Asia-Pacific, exploring their views on the interplay between technology
and human imagination in their organisations.
When questioned about the impacts of technology-led change, global
business leaders are positive about its impacts on creativity and
innovation, and concerned about keeping up with the pace of change.
Their challenges are focused on system and process issues rather than
stifled intuition or a possible takeover by computers or robots.
Business leaders do believe they are more creative today than they were
ten years ago, although once again the optimism is lower in Europe (52
per cent) compared to Asia (64 per cent) and North America (63 per
cent). Europeans are also less positive about whether technology helps
them make good decisions, with 40 per cent believing it to be the case,
compared to Asia (59 per cent) and North America (52 per cent).
However, there are some areas where Europeans are more confident. 65
per cent believe that technology has helped drive open debate and
discussion within their organisations, compared to 57 per cent in Asia.
Europeans are also more confident about the role of technology in terms
of improving productivity. 72 per cent said that they believed this was
the case, compared to 59 per cent in North America and 68 per cent in
When asked to rank their top technology challenges, business leaders
placed 'systems not connected to each other' in the top spot, followed
closely by the fact that 'technology is evolving more quickly than the
internal processes that support it'. European business leaders are most
impacted by disconnected systems (46 per cent) compared to 39 per cent
in Asia and 34 per cent in North America.
Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe, says: "European
businesses leaders face a challenging time - in addition to technology
led change they must manage complex regulations and grow their
businesses in a competitive and mature landscape. In addition, they are
focused upon recovering from the global economic crisis, where the
viability of the euro is being questioned. While this may attribute to
their increased concern about remaining competitive, what is important
is to determine what can be done to help drive growth and business
agility into the future.
"It is clear that the impacts of technology are varied, a one-size
approach to transformation is not possible. What is certain is - change
is unavoidable. The ways of working that we have taken for granted are
unlikely to survive much longer. However a workplace where decisions are
made entirely by computers or robots isn't forecast by global readers
just yet. The future shows great potential for humans to benefit from
more creative and informed decision making, supported by technology,
effective business processes and new ways to share and access
information. If European business leaders master a truly connected and
efficient workplace, just imagine what can be achieved on top of what
has already been experienced today."
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Posted by Editor in Chief at 21:55