Tuesday, March 05 14:22:23
European business leaders are more worried about keeping up with the pace of technological change than those in Asia and North America.
That's according to a new study called "Humans and Machines", conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh. The research investigates the impacts of technology upon human creativity and intuition.
It found that 45pc of Europeans said they were worried about not being able to keep up with technology and losing competitive edge, compared with 35pc in Asia and 37pc in North America.
Some 432 senior executives were interviewed across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, exploring their views on the interplay between technology and human imagination in their organisations.
When questioned about the impacts of technology-led change, global business leaders are positive about its impacts on creativity and innovation, and concerned about keeping up with the pace of change. Their challenges are focused on system and process issues rather than stifled intuition or a possible takeover by computers or robots.
Business leaders do believe they are more creative today than they were ten years ago, although once again the optimism is lower in Europe (52pc) compared to Asia (64pc) and North America (63pc). Europeans are also less positive about whether technology helps them make good decisions, with 40pc believing it to be the case, compared to Asia (59pc) and North America (52pc).
However, there are some areas where Europeans are more confident. 65pc believe that technology has helped drive open debate and discussion within their organisations, compared to 57pc in Asia.
Europeans are also more confident about the role of technology in terms of improving productivity. 72pc said that they believed this was the case, compared to 59pc in North America and 68pc in Asia.
When asked to rank their top technology challenges, business leaders placed 'systems not connected to each other' in the top spot, followed closely by the fact that 'technology is evolving more quickly than the internal processes that support it'. European business leaders are most impacted by disconnected systems (46pc) compared to 39pc in Asia and 34pc in North America.
Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe, says: "European businesses leaders face a challenging time - in addition to technology led change they must manage complex regulations and grow their businesses in a competitive and mature landscape. In addition, they are focused upon recovering from the global economic crisis, where the viability of the euro is being questioned. While this may attribute to their increased concern about remaining competitive, what is important is to determine what can be done to help drive growth and business agility into the future."