Hourglass: Making the Most of Your People
The New Digital Economy
This white paper provides insights into how corporations are responding to the key economic and technology megatrends reshaping the global marketplace. To ensure the rigor of our research, we undertook a blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis
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.