Businesses in emerging markets are placing greater importance on leveraging technology to fuel growth compared to their counterparts in developed markets which could hinder growth for the latter.
The research done by enterprise software provider Epicor found that 54% of emerging market business executives cited “technology leadership” as a significant growth factor, compared to just 36% of those in developed countries.
The research, which was conducted by MORAR Consulting and commissioned by Epicor, questioned over 1,800 business leaders from 12 countries across the globe.
Also recognising the importance of flexible technology and business systems in fuelling growth, executives in emerging markets are putting themselves in a stronger position when it comes to preparing for international expansion. Businesses that have more agile working practices can respond more quickly to changing market environments, making them more prepared to deal with the demands of growth.
Of those surveyed globally, three-quarters (75%) of businesses in emerging markets agree that flexible working practices and technologies, such as mobile working, are significant in helping retain key people, compared to just 62% of those in developed countries.
In addition, the research found that businesses in developed markets are less likely to see the value of using the latest technology to free people up from mundane tasks, such as repetitive invoice processing and manual stock counting. 65% of business leaders in developed markets said this was a significant contributor to their staff retention, compared to 75% of business leaders in emerging markets.
“Business executives in more developed markets could be in fact hindering growth unless they make strategic investments into critical technology and working processes that can increase their agility. More developed markets are often considered beacons of technology innovation but they need to practice what they preach if they are to reap the benefits and continue to grow. This is also increasingly important in order to attract and empower the next-generation workforce in the workplace. Millennials, after all, expect to use the latest technologies in the most flexible ways,” said Sabby Gill, executive vice president international, Epicor Software.
49% of business leaders in India said that expansion into new industries and product areas was a main priority for their business over the coming year. To support this, 80% of Indian business leaders recognised that cutting-edge technology/IT was a significant factor in the retention of key staff. As an emerging market, it’s vital that Indian business leaders continue to focus on flexible working practices and modern business solutions to translate their growth goals into tangible expansion plans.
In the same survey, 40% of respondents identified technology leadership as a significant factor to help stimulate growth. Yet these findings suggest that unless businesses in developed markets invest in technology they may struggle to meet their targets, with emerging market competition set to outstrip them with the latest technologies and processes.