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05 April 2017

Technology the key driver for growing business complexity in the Asia Pacific

The pressure on company leaders to innovate through the uptake of new technologies is the number one challenge currently facing companies in the region, according to a recent survey.

By Kathryn Higgins

Anton Balazh

Of the 150 Asia Pacific-based business leaders recently surveyed by Baker McKenzie and Mergermarket, an overwhelming 66 per cent reported that the pressure to absorb and adopt new technology as a means to business innovation was one of the biggest challenges currently facing their business. The results of this year’s Asia Pacific Business Complexities Survey place rank internal technological innovation as the most prevalent complexity for business in the region, above cost pressures (64 per cent) and shifting regulation/compliance issues (62 per cent).

Widespread disruption predicted

Furthermore, 62 per cent of respondents cited externally-driven disruption via technology as one of the greatest challenges they currently face, with a staggering 84 per cent of business expecting to be disrupted by competitive technology within the next two years. This figure rises to an almost unanimous 97 per cent for financial institutions, and 96 per cent for consumer and retail companies. Baker McKenzie Asia Pacific Chair Gary Seib commented: ‘That technology is at the top of the list is probably not a surprise to many, but the number of companies that expect disruption by competitive technology in just the next two years should give pause to any corporates that see themselves as immune to these forces.’

Geopolitical shifts

Also of interest is that only 16 per cent of business leaders in the Asia Pacific predict that economic influence of the United States over the region is likely to increase over the next five years, with almost half (48 per cent) instead predicting a decline. India’s influence in the region is expected to grow (predicted by 95 per cent of respondents), as is that of China (predicted by 77 per cent).

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