Searching for the Economic Sunny Side

The economic down turn isn't all bad, according to more than half of C-level executives in the U.S. who participated in an Accenture study. The study surveyed 150 business leaders to gauge their outlook on the current economic slowdown and their level of satisfaction in their recent technology investments. Most of the executives surveyed have taken advantage of the current economy to pause, take a critical look at their business models, and "get their house in order."

More than half (53 percent) of the executives agree that eliminating poor business models is the "silver lining of the economic slowdown." Thirty-nine percent of the executives believe that the inability to get new capital is the most negative impact of the slowdown.

Thirty-one percent of executives with large companies stated that they believe the economic slowdown will allow them to focus on cost reduction and enable them to gain more sector prominence as the marketplace shakeout eliminates competitors.

According to the survey, executives believe that the most beneficial "new technology investments" made in the past two years were in:

  • Supply Chain Management (SCM) technologies - 38 percent
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies - 29 percent
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technologies - 22 percent

Views on technology investments cut along industry lines. Investments in SCM most impressed executives in the retail and manufacturing industries (with 55 percent and 42 percent of executives in those respective sectors giving it a top ranking), while CRM investments are valued most by executives in financial services, insurance and real estate companies (with 50 percent of executives in those fields giving CRM a top ranking).

Executives believe the "next big wave or killer application for the business world" will be:

  • CRM technologies - 26 percent
  • Mobile/wireless applications - 25 percent
  • SCM technologies - 15 percent
  • ERP technologies - 11 percent
  • HRM technologies - 4 percent

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