China, U.S., seen as future innovators in Cloud

Asked to predict future disruptive technologies and the next epicenter for innovation, technology executives worldwide believe that China and the United States will be at the forefront, with Cloud enabling both the next indispensable consumer technology and business transformation for enterprises.

Asked to predict future disruptive technologies and the next epicenter for innovation, technology executives worldwide believe that China and the United States will be at the forefront, with Cloud enabling both the next indispensable consumer technology and business transformation for enterprises. Mobile technologies will continue to build on Cloud, providing the technology breakthrough that will transform businesses, according to the Global Technology Innovation survey by KPMG LLP (Amstelveen, Netherlands), the audit, tax and advisory firm.


Almost 30% of the 668 business executives in the Americas, Asia Pacific (ASPAC), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said China and the United States show the most promise for disruptive breakthroughs with global impacts, while 13% cited India. Interestingly, only 39% of U.S. respondents selected the United States as most promising, while 71% in China selected China.


To identify disruptive technologies and the scope of change two to four years out, KPMG surveyed executives from technology industry startups, mid-sized to large enterprises, venture capital firms and angel investors.


“The pace of technology innovations today is happening at unparalleled speed and China’s projected rapid rise to prominence as a technology leader would be another example of this,” said Gary Matuszak, partner, global chair and U.S. leader for KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.


According to Egidio Zarrella, a partner in KPMG China, the Chinese Government is encouraging significant investment in the areas of shared services and outsourcing, mobile payments and cloud computing.


Asked what technology will have a major impact by 2015, 30% of the survey respondents globally said Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) will enable the next indispensable consumer technology. In regard to driving business transformation, 22% said Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, followed closely by SaaS, will have the greatest impact. In the U.S., SaaS was the top selection in consumer and enterprise technologies.


“It is clear that technology leaders in countries where technology innovation is thriving believe that the Cloud represents a technology tidal shift. They are placing a huge bet on Cloud, as it has multiple capabilities and benefits for providers and users such as generating revenue, improving operational efficiency, reducing costs and time to market, and enabling other disruptive technologies such as mobile and social applications,” said Matuszak. “The significant Cloud investment that is under way is likely to spur technologies that drive breakthroughs in business transformation.”


Mobile technologies also are seen as a significant beneficiary of Cloud, as almost 30% of global respondents expect that the next technology breakthrough in four years resulting in the greatest business transformation will come from smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies.


Although, 44% of global respondents said it was likely that what many consider the technology innovation center of the world would shift from Silicon Valley to another country in the next four years, 23% of those surveyed said it is unlikely and 34% were undecided. Not surprisingly, only 28% of the U.S. respondents think the shift is likely, while more than half in ASPAC, and more than 40% in EMEA see the move as likely. Of those globally who believe the center will shift, most (44%) said it would move to China.


In considering innovation drivers, visionaries and leaders, more business executives globally identified Apple as tops in these three areas. As the top company driving disruptive innovation, Apple was followed by Google and Microsoft, according to the survey. Respondents also viewed Jobs as the top global innovation visionary, followed by Bill Gates. In China specifically, executives said Gates was the top visionary and Jack Ma the innovation leader. In India, Infosys was identified as the innovation leader, and in Israel, it was IBM/Lenovo.


In regard to adopting future technologies, cost/pricing models was pointed to by survey respondents as the top challenge to adopting the next indispensable consumer technologies, while security/privacy governance is the number one challenge to adopting future business transforming technologies and also is the top barrier to commercializing disruptive innovation.


“The fact that security/privacy governance is a challenge is not news, yet it’s an ongoing reminder of its importance as the business models continue to evolve,” said Matuszak. “The companies that develop a way to balance data-driven innovation with the appropriate transparency, privacy and information security frameworks to satisfy customers and regulators will have a competitive edge.”