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Pressing on with the Business of Global Growth in an Era of Uncertainty

Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President, International, Epicor Software Corporation | Jan. 20, 2017
How can developed world businesses bolster their competitive position to keep emerging market businesses from overtaking them?

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

According to business consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), while business growth remains essential, it's more challenging given the uncertain global environment and ongoing disruption- a scenario that may be stalling developed world businesses' efforts to land and expand operations globally. But this is a big mistake, because emerging world businesses are moving fast to gain traction.

Multi-national companies need to develop strategies to counter increasingly strong emerging-market rivals -- both the strength and volume of which is growing says BCG. These "global challengers" are fueled by high aspirations for global leadership and decisive action. According to David Michael, professor of practice, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and former senior partner at BCG, a decade ago it was a struggle to identify 100 such companies; today it's difficult to winnow the list down to 100. His view: multinationals are making a grave misstep if they fail to account for these upstart competitors and formulate a plan to respond to this threat.

So how can developed world businesses bolster their competitive position to keep emerging market businesses from overtaking them?

First, they must evaluate competitors' strengths and weaknesses. One area of focus is technology. According to a recent study, emerging world businesses are moving fast to gain a technological edge over their developed world counterparts, and thus may be better positioned for growth. In a study of more than 1,800 global business executives emerging market executives were shown to be more bullish on leveraging technology to provide the requisite flexibility and agility to fuel growth as compared to their developed market counterparts. Key findings from the study:

  • 77% of emerging market business execs polled cited having "cutting-edge" technology/IT as a significant growth factor (compared to just 62% of developed market business execs).
  • Three-quarters (75%) of emerging market business execs said having support for flexible business processes was of "significant" importance, compared to just 62% of those in developed countries.
  • Emerging market business execs were also more likely to see the value in using technology to liberate personnel from manual tasks to focus on higher value-added work activities; 75% of emerging market business leaders said this was of "significant" importance as compared to only 65% of developed market business leaders.

Newer business systems put more global horses under the hood

One of the benefits that emerging market businesses have is they aren't tied to old business processes and systems. They are free to implement modern present-day business systems that leverage newer technologies such as mobile and cloud to improve agility and remove complexity. With these systems, they have the ability to bring information to those who need it, at the moment they need it, in a form that they can use, and in a way that they can take action. This can give them a tremendous edge over more established businesses in the developed world that might be running older systems that prevent them from being responsive and adaptable to change.  


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