Executive Summary

  • Technology proficiency is more than knowing about the latest technology innovations: it describes a technology-enabled business culture that informs business strategy and everyday business planning conversations — using data and analytics, improving customer experience, product innovation, effectively using cloud technology, and investing in digital transformation programs. 

  • More than two-thirds of companies describe themselves as ‘technologically advanced’ — making full use of new technology across operational, customer-facing and internal parts of their business, to win new business, boost profitability, run efficient systems and attract the best talent.

  • Internationally, 82% of businesses that describe themselves as technologically advanced anticipate their business will grow in the next six months. In contrast, only 39% of those enterprises that admit to being held back by their use of technology predict growth in the near future. 

  • Growing businesses are far more likely to put technology discussions on the boardroom agenda than companies reporting no growth at all.  

  • While most firms claim to be technologically proficient, many fail to use it to create competitive advantage. Across a range of criteria — including creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research fluency and problem-solving — less than one in two businesses said their technology proficiency gave them a tangible advantage over the competitors.

  • Across all 12 countries surveyed, most business leaders said technology had a key role to play in business growth in 2021.     

  • Many of the enterprises surveyed displayed a skills gap between technology areas where directors were the most proficient and the technology areas that were a business priority. 

  • The top two attributes of tomorrow’s market leaders were technology-related. Almost half of the respondents (46%) said tomorrow’s leader brands ‘would make use of the latest technologies,’ while 44% said ‘technology would be at the heart of business thinking.’ 

  • The most technologically proficient companies with tech-savvy business leaders were those enterprises most likely to believe that technology would define the brands that would be tomorrow’s market leaders. 

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