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June 7, 2010

UK bosses fear complexity gap

Bosses at UK organisations fear a complexity gap will hamper growth over the next few years, according to a study by IBM.Big Blue's latest Global CEO Study - which quizzed more than 1,500 chief execs around the world - found that 79% are predicting

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Bosses at UK organisations fear a complexity gap will hamper growth over the next few years, according to a study by IBM.

Big Blue’s latest Global CEO Study – which quizzed more than 1,500 chief execs around the world – found that 79% are predicting an increase in complexity over the next five years, driven by the huge quantity of data being created as well as the economic situation and other market forces.

Despite many expecting an increase in complexity, just 49% of organisations say they are prepared to deal with it. This 30% difference is what IBM calls the complexity gap.

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The survey also revealed that UK firms are expecting the data explosion to have a far greater impact on their business than their international counterparts. UK bosses are also approaching these challenges in different ways, with just 15% believing that ‘global thinking’ is a top leadership quality. This compares to 61% in China, 42% in Japan and 33% across the rest of the EU.

Howard Tollit, an executive partner at IBM’s Global Business Services, told CBR that this is probably due to the UK’s business traditions. “The UK has a long heritage of UK-based organisations with local engagement used to address issues. There has been a history of bringing global dimensions into the UK, rather than the other way around. China, for example, has opened up a lot in the last 10 years so global thinking is high on their agenda.”

The impact that technology is having on organisations was also examined in the survey. Technological factors were the second most important external factor, listed by 39% of respondents, behind market factors (56%) and ahead of macroeconomic factors (28%). Technology has risen up the agenda of CEOs; it was the sixth most important external factor when IBM fist conducted this study in 2004.

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