NEW YORK; Dec. 7, 2010 – A new Accenture (NYSE: ACN) survey finds that widespread deficiencies in talent recruitment and information technology have left the vast majority of electronics and high-tech companies poorly positioned for global expansion. Yet the research also found that virtually all survey respondents said they have sufficient capital to execute their global expansion plans.
According to the survey of chief operating officers representing enterprise communications and consumer technology companies, more than half (53 percent) said that developing and managing human capital is the most fundamental component to delivering something distinctive to their customers. But only 10 percent said finding new locations to source talent for innovation is a key driver of operating model decisions.
In response to other questions regarding their companies’ global operations:
- seventy percent of respondents said IT is critical for global expansion although only one-in-five (21 percent) felt that their corporate IT systems were capable of supporting it, and,
- sixty percent agreed that building flexible and efficient IT systems to enable relationships within and outside their companies had grown in importance because of the economic downturn, yet only seven percent said that this was a focus driving operating model decisions.
The survey also revealed that nearly all respondents (95 percent) said they have sufficient capital to execute their global strategies. However, less than one-third (31 percent) strongly believe their company leverages its global scale effectively. And, only one-fifth (21 percent) strongly believe their company is well positioned to respond rapidly and effectively to changes in the global market.
“Electronics and high-tech companies are well aware that talent recruitment and IT are important to boost their global operations, but they widely acknowledge they have major shortcomings in this arena that threaten their progress as the economy recovers,” said Hans Von Lewinski, managing director with Accenture’s Asia Pacific Electronics and High-Tech industry group. “These shortcomings need to be addressed quickly as the battle for highly skilled talent and innovative IT intensifies worldwide.”
Respondents were also asked to rank the most important core business activities coming out of the economic downturn. Eighty-seven percent said developing collaborations and networks with customers was important—even more important than cutting costs (83 percent).
“Global operations are changing fundamentally as the market turnaround continues,” added Von Lewinski. “Cost cutting is being superseded by the need to understand customers better and work more closely with them. Electronics and high-tech companies need to consider fine-tuning their global operations by reviewing their competitive essence—what makes them distinctive and differentiated. They may then use this competitive essence as a compass to guide their operational decisions, win the next phase of competition, and achieve high performance.”
For a copy of the complete set of survey findings, please visit
The survey, conducted from April to August 2010, polled chief operating officers or executives with equivalent titles from companies in the enterprise communications and consumer technology industries that have sales and distribution operations in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Executives represented a broad sample of developed (90 percent) and emerging countries (10 percent) including Australia. Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, and the United States. They were asked about their firm’s global operations in the context of the recent global recession and ongoing market recovery, as well as their strategic, core, and back office business activities, operating models, and competitive differentiators.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 204,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010. Its home page is www.accenture.com
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