Global business leaders in Europe are more worried about keeping pace with the impact of technological change than their counterparts in either Asia or North America, a new study has revealed. David Sapsted reports for Re:locate.
Although European executives are positive about technology's role in stimulating creativity and innovation, they remain more concerned than their peers elsewhere over their companies' abilities to keep up with fast-moving innovations, according to the survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh.
While 45% of Europeans worried about losing their competitive edge because of an inability to keep pace, the same concerns affect only 35% of business leaders in Asia and 37% in North America.
The study, called 'Humans and Machines', was published on Tuesday and investigates the impacts of technology on human creativity and intuition.
Asked to rank the technology challenges they were facing, 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 businesses leaders face a challenging time,” said Carsten Bruhn, executive vice-president of Ricoh Europe.
“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.”
Mr Bruhn said the study exposed the need for European organisations to review the way they work and prepare to transform their traditional way of doing things.
“Through better integration of their systems and more streamlined business processes that connect their people and their technology they can improve employee knowledge sharing, be more responsive to client needs and ensure an agile business infrastructure that is ready to meet the needs of the future,” he added.
The study showed that business leaders believed they were more creative than they were a decade although, once again, such optimism was lower among those based in Europe (52%) than in Asia (64%) and North America (63%).
Asked whether or not they believed technology helped them make good decisions, only 40% of Europeans thought it did, compared to 59% of Asians and 52% of Americans.