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Economic downturn and the ensuing need to innovate mean businesses must become increasingly tech savvy to survive

Date: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 13:18 Source: Atos Origin Press Department

Look Out, Atos Consulting’s annual international trends report, reveals innovation is critical to sustainable growth
Economic downturn and the ensuing need to innovate mean businesses must become increasingly tech savvy to survive Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos Origin

Atos Origin, an international IT services company, unveiled the second edition of its independent trends report: Look Out. Developed under the supervision of its business consulting division, Atos Consulting, the report highlights the vital role of technology in helping businesses grow revenues, successfully work with customers and partners and win new business opportunities.
The report analyses emerging trends, operational threats and business opportunities across all business sectors. In light of the speed at which the economic downturn spread across the globe, the report highlights that transparency and traceability of economic activity are more important than ever in all organisations. This is both to rebuild customer trust and to meet the ever-increasing regulatory measures in the most cost effective and time efficient manner.
“Organisations in both the private and public sectors need to be transparent to rebuild consumer and public trust,” said Han van der Zee, Director of the Atos Consulting Trends Institute and editor in Chief of Look Out. “They need to make information more easily accessible and allow contribution of viewpoints via different channels including social networks and blogs. Perhaps more importantly, they need to demonstrate that they want to build genuine relationship with their customers by listening and acting on the information shared with them.”
Use of collaborative technologies such as social networks is one area where we are now seeing increased use of technology to drive innovation by aggregating, updating and sharing information on-line between global teams. Look Out highlights Proctor & Gamble, Fiat, and LEG as leaders in this area. They are using Crowd Sourcing applications to put their innovation challenges on the Web and to gain new insights on topics such as product design and technical issues.
“Our research shows that the vast majority of businesses are ineffective in exploiting the knowledge they already have. Wider and more effective use of collaborative technologies, such as Wikis, blogs and idea management platforms can help organisations to leverage existing information and expertise to innovate and build new business models. The companies that continue to thrive in the downturn through the adoption of new and innovative practices are gaining a significant competitive advantage,” said Dominque Rérat, Senior Vice President for Innovation and Business Development.
Despite the economic downturn, Look Out confirms that the environment continues to remain at the forefront of the corporate and public agenda. With sustainability and carbon emissions becoming an ever more important topic, companies that employ green technology and practices will help reduce energy usage and wastage, enable collaboration and generate new potential markets
The aging Baby Boom population is also having a significant impact on the workforce. As much of the workforce retires or moves to less demanding roles, Look Out points out that companies need to ensure their tacit knowledge is captured, whilst at the same time embracing Generation Y’s expectation for digital media.
Look Out has been compiled by the business consulting division of Atos Origin. The Atos Consulting team worked with experts across Atos Origin and Atos Worldline to analyse emerging trends and to develop a picture of market needs. It then ratified the findings with clients to verify what is realistic, what is not and what is an appropriate level of risk. The report is presented in an easy to interpret format that provides an at-a-glance summary of the opportunities and obstacles that businesses can expect to see in the short, medium and long-term.

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