Investing in Technology Can Double Business Competitiveness, Finds Study

New research has shown, for the first time, that emerging technologies such as cloud services, mobility and online collaboration, are improving corporate competitiveness.


The research from INSEAD in collaboration with AT&T, shows that high investors in new information technologies can double their likelihood of being highly competitive - from 35% to 74% - and outperform their peers.


However, investing in new technologies alone isn’t enough to guarantee improved competitiveness. Some high investors in technology are seeing no improvement in their competitiveness at all, and perform the same as companies with low or no investment. The most critical factor in making technology investments succeed is to have other strong business resources in place.


The data shows that in Asia-Pacific, firms are investing a much greater percentage of their total ICT budgets in new technology, and expect to grow those investments more quickly, compared to the other regions.


Research finds that investment in mobility will grow from 17% three years ago to 31% two years from now (82% growth). Cloud will more than double from 12% to 30% (150% growth); and collaboration tools will increase from 18% to 26% (44% growth).


Strong Business Resources
The most important finding of the research shows that when firms have strong business resources and invest more in new technology, the probability of becoming highly competitive can double - from 35% to 74%. Conversely, when firms with weak business resources make significant investments in new technology, their likelihood of better performance does not increase at all; their investment in new technology is at great risk of being completely wasted.


The research also identifies that business involvement in technology investment and management decisions are vital to success.   


Access to technology-focused talent and management-focused talent are also important.


The research clearly shows that the most important resource by far is digital maturity. Firms that have mature digitized platforms and invest in new technology significantly increase the likelihood of being competitively agile, compared to firms with immature digitized platforms that make similar investments.


This is critical for global competition. In Asia, companies must be careful not to rush too quickly to adopt new technologies, and make sure their platform is ready to make use of them, says the study.


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