Country observations

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Belgium – Failing to see the opportunity

  • One of the least likely to feel that connectivity is important to various business applications, and the least likely overall to recognise that the impact is positive
  • Unlike global trend, Belgians don’t see the IoT and data analytics as having most potential, in fact, they’re highly likely to believe that these technologies do not present a business opportunity – about three in ten do not believe there’s a business opportunity
  • The failure to recognise the applicability of such technology may be linked to poor focus on skills – Belgium is far more likely than most others to have formally assessed opportunities, but also sees the lowest interest in hiring new talent (one in ten have done so), despite talent and skills being a top barrier
  • Cost is also a strong barrier in Belgium and is most likely to impede embracing connectivity

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China – Shifting the focus on partners

  • When it comes to greater interconnectivity, China is least likely to see it grow, with a third saying there will be no change or that it will decrease
  • Unlike global trend, the Chinese don’t see the IoT and data analytics as having most potential; instead they focus on VR
  • Contrary to what is seem among other countries, the approach to embracing connectivity in China focuses on redesigning business practices and building standalone divisions – this could be linked to what is considered as the strongest connectivity enabler – partner/supplier management and organisational agility
  • Tech innovation not as important, therefore less likely to see assessment of opportunities and investment in strategy
  • Security and cost are the strongest barriers and are most likely to dissuade the adoption of connectivity in China – over seven in ten would avoid or withdraw from further connectivity adoption as a result of concerns

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France – lukewarm enthusiasm, high confidence

  • Average levels of connectivity and interconnectivity adoption, and anticipation of change is also average
  • However, there’s strong recognition of the business opportunities various technologies present, particularly data analytics
  • Sales and marketing, as well as products and services are areas that could most benefit from next-generation connectivity
  • Approach focuses on formal assessment of opportunities and hiring talent
  • The focus on talent could be behind the very strong levels of confidence in organisational capabilities (the highest of all countries), overcoming the significant barrier that talent and skills present
  • There are also high levels of concern around data protection

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India – Considerable barriers despite strong enthusiasm

  • Indians see different types of technology having a positive impact on their business, namely on sales and marketing
  • The IoT is of particular interest and respondents here are also highly likely to feel that 5G will be strategically important in the next five years
  • The approach is also very formal in India (assessing opportunities, adopting strategies) but also some emphasis on acquiring businesses
  • Cost is cited as a top barrier and three-quarters would say that it’s likely to result in avoidance or withdrawal from further connectivity
  • In fact, respondents in India are most likely to be put off by a number of concerns, with the highest levels of apprehension surrounding safety and managing more complex systems

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Italy – Leapfrogging adoption; most likely to anticipate changes, confident

  • Italy least likely to be currently reliant on connectivity but most likely to think importance will increase, and Italians are also some of the most likely to believe that interconnectivity will also increase
  • Overall most likely to see that different types of technology will bring business opportunities – especially of data analytics and the IoT; most positive impact foreseen in customer service
  • Most likely to feel that 5G will be strategically important; however, Italians are significantly more likely to think that 5G is more of an evolution of technology – undaunted
  • Approach to connectivity focuses on formal assessment of opportunities, formal strategy adoption and investments
  • Largest barriers include security and data protection; skills and cost, the top two concerns globally, are not as much of a challenge in Italy

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Netherlands and Germany – most advanced in connectivity adoption with a focus on skills and new ways of working to ensure future success

  • Netherlands and Germany most likely to think connectivity is important to business; in the Netherlands, respondents are most likely to currently be reliant on interconnectivity
  • Respondents in both Netherlands and Germany are most likely to believe that connectivity is important to a number of different applications, and particularly products and services; the importance to internal operations is also recognised in the Netherlands
  • In both countries, respondents are highly likely to feel that the impact of connectivity is positive
  • Data analytics and IoT dominate Netherlands tech opportunities; IoT in Germany
  • Technology innovation is seen as the most important to successful adoption of advanced connectivity in the Netherlands, whereas Germans focus on business model innovation
  • Germany and Netherlands both see talent and skills as a barrier to embracing connectivity but are taking measures to address the issue:
    • Netherlands most likely to tackle the issue by hiring new talent which may be behind the very high levels of confidence in talent; investment also prominent and could be linked to the importance of technology innovation being a top enabler
    • In Germany while formal approaches are most common, Germans are one of the most likely to have built standalone divisions – this could be linked to the focus on business model innovation

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Spain – on the road to next-gen connectivity

  • Nearly all (90%) believe that connectivity is important to their business and a similar proportion expect it to become more important; similar figures are seen when asked about interconnectivity
  • Connectivity is highly important to a number of business applications, including supply chain management, interaction with customers and infrastructure management
  • Thinking about different types technology, enthusiasm is high with about four in ten each agreeing that the technologies (including IoT, data analytics, AI, Blockchain and VR) present a business opportunity; interest in data analytics is strongest
  • The Spanish approach to adopting next-gen connectivity is varied with a number of initiatives proving popular including adoption of formal strategies, acquisition of one or more businesses, redesigning business practices and building standalone divisions; the latter two are more prominent in Spain than in most other countries
  • The barriers in Spain are similar to those seen in other countries, with nearly half (44%) each citing cost and talent and skills, however, a strong majority (68%) is still confident in their organisational capabilities when it comes to capitalising on connectivity
  • Despite cost being a top barrier, it’s less likely to dissuade respondents from further embracing connectivity than other factors;  instead, over four in ten (82%) believe this would be caused by business continuity concerns
  • inesses.

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Sweden- a hint of inaction

  • Nearly all (94%) believe that connectivity is important to their business, with rates only behind Germany and the Netherlands; a similar proportion expect it to increase
  • Connectivity is thought to be important to a number of business applications, including products and services and supply chain management; these are also the two areas where Swedes are most likely to believe that the impact of connectivity is positive
  • The Swedish approach focuses on investment, as well as formal assessment of opportunities and strategy adoption
  • Nevertheless, over one in ten has not taken any steps to prepare for the adoption of next-gen connectivity, the highest of any country, which may explain why current reliance on interconnectivity is at one of the lowest rates (albeit 68% rely entirely or to a great extent on interconnectivity)
  • Enthusiasm is strong: sizeable majorities (roughly three-quarters) believe that each type of technology (including the IoT, data analytics and AI) presents business opportunities
  • Security and data protection are seen as the biggest barriers to connectivity adoption, in addition to cost, which is the most likely to result in the avoidance or withdrawal of connectivity adoption in Sweden

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UK – Building confidence, getting ready for change

  • UK least likely to currently rely on tracking but most likely to anticipate greater interconnectivity
  • Respondents here are some of the least likely to believe that 5G is an evolution of existing capabilities (rather a significant step-change)
  • Formal strategies and investment dominate the approach
  • However, one in ten in the UK have not taken any measures for adopting connectivity
  • While cost is a top barrier like for many other countries, own organisation’s lack of technical capabilities is a challenge
  • Very limited confidence in existing skills – lowest of all countries
  • Nevertheless, the strong focus on hiring new talent is promising

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USA – Investment leading the way

  • Least likely to currently feel that connectivity is important to various aspects of business; nevertheless, there’s strong recognition that 5G will be strategically important over the next five years and the IoT is seen as the biggest business opportunity
  • Technology innovation is the top enabler for embracing connectivity
  • The US approach focuses on formally assessing opportunities, and investment in particular is very prominent
  • Unlike the global trend, cost is less of a concern
  • Instead, talent and skills, as well as data protection, as worrying businesses in the US

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