Keeping up with key tech is the biggest growth challenge

Changing stakeholder expectations are compelling CEOs to innovate, according to research from Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Team.

With the breakneck speed in which technology changes, businesses are increasingly compelled to ditch the traditional product-based model in favour of a more agile, service-based approach. How are organisations responding to this ongoing churn? Which approaches will lead them to long term, sustainable growth?

Over 300 CEOs and business leaders across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa participated in Frost & Sullivan’s annual CEOs’ Perspectives on Growth, Innovation and Leadership survey.

Frost & Sullivan chairman David Frigstad sees this trend as symptomatic of the rate in which both consumer and enterprise technology has been evolving.

As global economic ecosystems experience intense digital transformation, new opportunities for growth and innovation are emerging, he says. “However, leveraging these opportunities requires visionary leadership that can realise growth strategies and vision congruence.”

Adapt or die

Based on the research, Frigstad surmises that companies that fail to keep up, or at least find ways to focus on innovation and growth to keep up and integrate new business models will find themselves increasingly marginalised.

Challenges for the modern CEO are mounting in tandem with the new technologies and opportunities at their disposal. 53 per cent of CEOs cite an intensifying competitive environment as the biggest external threat to growth.

However, most organisations are unable to adequately involve competitive intelligence and corporate strategy teams for dealing with this challenge.

And while digital transformation is acknowledged as a dominant growth, innovation, and leadership catalyst over the next five years, one in three of the surveyed CEOs view the speed of technological change a a real and immediate challenge.

“Digital transformation, including intelligent data analytics, convergence, connectivity and digital consumers, is compelling CEOs to develop innovative tools and strategies in order to deliver on dynamic stakeholder expectations,” says Sandeep Kar, Frost & Sullivan Global Head, Content Transformation.

“One key takeaway from this survey is that implementation has to start early and consistently.”

The CEO wishlist

Partnerships and a dedicated strategy to ramp up, manage and maintain technology are perceived as crucial for growth over the next three years, according to the study. Still, more than half of the surveyed CEOs expressed their lack of confidence in successfully implementing technology and IP strategies.

According to the surveyed CEOs, the top three disruptive business models are transitioning from product to services, personalisation and customisation, and value for many as opposed to value for money.

Only half of those surveyed have had any success in integrating these new models into their organisations, which suggests a gap between what business leaders see is the way forward, and actually getting there.

In the survey, Apple, Google, Amazon, Tesla and GE were cited as the most disruptive companies. “Their unique stories testify to the unprecedented gains to be had from converting disruption into growth, focusing on innovation, and displaying visionary leadership,” concludes Kar.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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