Welcome!

News Feed Item

Businesses Express Strong Confidence for 2014 and a Focus on New Markets, According to Accenture Research Conducted by the EIU

Business executives are optimistic about business and economic prospects in 2014, according to new research by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Although most plan to drive growth by prioritizing exports and new products and services, the research reveals that companies have greater potential to focus their digital investments on driving growth and reaching new customers.

Of the 1041 C level executives surveyed by the EIU in twenty countries for the report, “CEO Briefing 2014 – The Global Agenda: Competing in a Digital World,” 76 percent are optimistic for their own organizations’ prospects in 2014, significantly higher than the 55 percent who were positive in the EIU’s 2009 research. Respondents in China, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland were most optimistic about their companies’ prospects. Those in Japan and France were least positive but, even here, more than 60 percent were optimistic for their companies’ prospects.

Business leaders are less positive about the 2014 outlook for the economies where they are based, according to the findings. On average 61 percent are optimistic, with respondents in China, the U.S., Canada and Spain most positive. Less than half (48 percent and 47 percent) of Japanese and Korean executives are optimistic about their economies in the coming year. Only 52 percent of French and 51 percent of Italian respondents are positive about the prospects of their economies in 2014. Optimism for the global economy as a whole is more modest, at 44 percent, but the proportion of pessimists has fallen dramatically from 71 percent in 2009 to 15 percent today.

Confidence extends to 2014 business performance. More than three quarters (76 percent) of respondents forecast revenue growth in 2014, while 71 percent forecast higher profits. The manufacturing, energy and pharmaceutical sectors are expected to see the strongest revenue growth, according to respondents, with aerospace/defence, agriculture and professional services least likely to.

Extending to New Markets, New Products & Services

Business leaders are increasingly looking to export markets for that growth, according to the research. Fifty eight percent of the respondents say their business intends to prioritize investment outside their home market, versus 42 percent who will focus on the domestic market. Italy, Canada, China and Japan will have the greatest domestic focus, while Germany, the UK, Spain and South Korea are most likely to focus on exports.

Companies seem highly ambitious in terms of their intention to expand into new markets and product areas. Sixty eight percent of responding businesses intend to drive growth in their domestic market in the next three years by focusing on selling new products and services versus 32 percent who will prioritize selling existing ones. In export markets, 70 percent intend to focus on selling new rather than existing products and services. In both cases, a majority intends to prioritize selling to new rather than current customers.

“Business leaders are remarkably bullish about 2014, particularly with regard to ambitions for selling new products to new customers in new markets. We would caution against such high hopes,” said Brian Gardner, Senior Editor with the EIU. “These sentiments may reflect a need to find growth through such routes rather than an ability to do so. New market entrants, falling consumer demand and industry consolidation were cited as the top three risks companies are facing.”

Unfulfilled Digital Potential

Digital technologies are seen as important to future prospects. Yet, although the overwhelming majority of C-level business leaders see digital technologies as causing significant change in their industry over the next 12 months, less than one third (31 percent) of respondents claim their company primarily uses these technologies to drive growth or to find new ways of reaching customers. Fifty nine percent use digital technologies to improve process efficiencies and reduce costs.

“The next waves of growth will be increasingly dependent on using digital to break into new markets, create new customer experiences and deliver entirely new products and services. But the evidence is that companies are misdirecting their digital investments,” said Bruno Berthon, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy. “If companies are to successfully reach new markets with new products and services, they will have to shift the balance of their digital investments from improving internal efficiencies to seizing market opportunities.”

Human Capital

Confidence in the economic outlook is also spilling over into investment in people. Sixty five percent of respondents expect their workforces to grow this year. Three quarters (75 percent) will increase their human capital investment in 2014, far greater than those increasing investment in physical and intangible assets. The commitment to human capital is supported by the finding that investment in education and training tops the list of factors that respondents believe will improve the competitiveness of their country.

Regional outlook

When looking at the regional macro-economic picture, confidence is returning to the EU. Those who think the EU economy will improve and intend to shift investment to the EU outnumber the pessimists by 55 percent to 45 percent. EU respondents are more optimistic than outsiders. Sixty eight percent of UK, 75 percent of German and 78 percent of Italian respondents intend to shift investment to the EU in the next 12 months.

Surprisingly, the global sample is less positive about the U.S. economy, contradicting EIU forecasts. More are pessimistic and intend to shift investments away from the U.S. by a ratio of 57 percent to 43 percent who say the opposite. Only 37 percent of European respondents intend to shift investments to the U.S. in the next 12 months versus 64 percent of North American respondents, again demonstrating that executives are more bullish about their own economies than those overseas.

Despite talk of a slowdown in emerging markets, 57 percent of respondents expect strong or stable growth there. When asked if mature economies’ monetary policy (for instance, withdrawal of quantitative easing by the U.S.) may negatively impact emerging markets, 65 percent disagree. At the same time, businesses are spreading their interest more evenly, with 60 percent expecting to shift investment away from the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) towards other more rapidly growing markets.

“Despite the optimism, we must remember that, just as there were pockets of growth during the downturn, there are specific areas facing difficulties amid the positive outlook,” said Bruno Berthon. “As Detroit goes bankrupt, New York thrives. As Greece suffers, Germany and the UK enjoy strong growth. This report sends two clear signals: get granular about which markets you are targeting, and aggressively embrace digital business models to decouple your company’s fortunes from the mixed macro-economic landscape.”

To read the report, please visit: http://www.accenture.com/ceobriefing

About the survey

The EIU conducted a survey of 1,041 C-suite executives drawn from 20 countries around the world. Representing a wide range of industries, all respondents are board members or C-level executives. The largest group (36%) of respondents are based in Europe, with 28% based in Asia-Pacific, 15% in North America and the remainder in the Middle East and Africa, Latin American and Eastern Europe. Fully 85% of the firms represented in the survey generate more than US$500mn in annual revenue. To complement the survey findings, the EIU conducted interviews with a range of business and thought leaders, including a range of CEOs.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 281,000 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$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
As companies gain momentum, the need to maintain high quality products can outstrip their development team’s bandwidth for QA. Building out a large QA team (whether in-house or outsourced) can slow down development and significantly increases costs. This eBook takes QA profiles from 5 companies who successfully scaled up production without building a large QA team and includes: What to consider when choosing CI/CD tools How culture and communication can make or break implementation
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
"We view the cloud not really as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.