Aging Population, Resource Scarcity, Adoption of New Technologies, Emerging Markets Offer Promise
DAVOS, Switzerland; Jan. 26, 2011 – Even as many economies continue to struggle with job losses, high levels of public and household debt and growing competition from newly powerful emerging markets, a study by Accenture (NYSE:ACN) has identified four major waves of growth which, if carefully leveraged, have the potential to create significant growth in GDP and jobs over the next decade.
According to the study – New Waves of Growth: Unlocking Opportunity in the Multi-Polar World – future success will be determined by how effectively economies and businesses can capitalize on the four waves:
The “silver” economy. As life expectancy increases, the graying of the population represents a major untapped growth opportunity as older people become more productive, retire later in life and remain active consumers of goods and services ranging from healthcare and wellness products to financial services, educational programs and new technology.
The resource economy. The need for energy security and new ways to exploit green energy sources will continue to grow as developing economies continue to gain strength.
A multi-technology future. Cloud computing, analytics, mobility and other new technologies that offer vast new service opportunities are coming into their own and it is estimated that 1.5 billion additional people will be accessing the Internet over the next 10 years.
The emerging-markets surge. The rise of the multi-polar world, in which economic activity is increasingly gravitating toward the powerhouse economies of Asia and Latin America, will dramatically expand trade and investment opportunities for multinational businesses.
As part of the research, Accenture engaged Oxford Economics to conduct macroeconomic modeling, which projects that if government and business develop the level of capabilities and talent required, these trends could spawn burgeoning new markets and new sources of efficiency. Incorporating Oxford Economics’ modeling into the research, the study show that if the United States, for example, were able to build the skills, infrastructure and environments to fully harness these trends, it could add economic output and jobs equivalent to the entire current size of the U.S. auto industry. Similarly, significant incremental growth would be possible for the economies of Germany, India and the United Kingdom, the three other countries covered in the study.
“While these trends are largely unstoppable, the market outcomes are not,” said Mark Foster, group chief executive, Management Consulting & Global Markets at Accenture. “Achieving success of the magnitude suggested by the Oxford model will require government and business to effectively plan how to best strategize and seize on all the opportunities the new waves of growth have to offer. Confidence and clarity of intent will be key. Equipping our workforces with the skills to succeed in tomorrow’s markets must be a focal point of these strategies for future growth. And, tomorrow’s growth opportunities must – and will – be earned by countries willing to build new and smarter infrastructure, invest in their workforces and open bridges to the emerging world.”
How New Waves Might Boost GDP, Jobs in a Multi-Polar World
Accenture’s study is the fifth in a series of annual studies on the rise of the multi-polar world in which emerging markets – with a vast population of new consumers, booming economies and evolving manufacturing and technology capabilities – are able to compete head to head with the world’s mature economies.
This year’s study focused on four major economies that together account for nearly two-fifths of the world economy and provide a sample of developed and emerging markets: Germany, India, the United States and the United Kingdom. The findings are based on extensive discussions with panels of experts representing business, academia, government and the non-profit sector as well as deep analysis of extensive secondary data and Oxford Economics’ macroeconomic analysis.
The Oxford Economics modeling finds that, with essential interventions such as investing in skills and infrastructure to harness these four new waves of growth, economies could raise economic growth rates and employment levels as follows:
United States: average annual growth of 3.8 percent, compared with 3.1 percent currently expected; 8.7 million more jobs in 2020 than currently expected.
Germany: average annual growth of 2.8 percent, compared with 1.9 percent currently expected; 3 million more jobs in 2020 than currently expected.
United Kingdom: average annual growth of 3.1 percent, compared with 2.5 percent currently expected; 2.6 million more jobs in 2020 than currently expected.
India: average annual growth of 8.7 percent, compared with 8.0 percent currently expected; 37.5 million more jobs in 2020 than currently expected.
“Companies and industries are finding that the waves of growth they rode into the downturn – growing affluence and high rates of consumer spending and debt in developed markets, high levels of government spending and buoyant housing and construction – are no longer sufficient to carry them into the future,” Foster said. “That is why they must do all they can to take advantage of the great potential that the new waves of growth have to offer.”
Range of Industries can Benefit from New Waves of Growth – From Connected Health to Desalination
According to Accenture’s research, the areas that can benefit most from the new silver economy include: connected health (information technologies such as health analytics, the electronic management of patient information and mobile and home-based delivery of healthcare services), lifelong finance (tailored equity release products, health insurance and biometric ATMs), inclusive consumer goods (designed for the changing physiological condition of older people) and health services and wellness products (healthcare, social care, pharmaceuticals, home care).
As demand for resources booms and competition increases for land, water, energy, food and minerals and supplies, which are in short supply, the resource economy will fuel the growth of intelligent energy, including smart grids, carbon capture and storage, smart buildings, remote sensors and meters; green infrastructure – green capital goods and infrastructure, such as photovoltaic systems and wind turbines; and waste, water and land management (desalination technology, accessible low-cost solutions to land access).
On the multi-technology front, industries including education, chemicals, public services, transport and consumer goods will be transformed by the advent of new technologies. As communications technology continues to shrink the globe, the key sectors that will shape the multi-technology revolution include core technologies such as superfast broadband, cloud computing, robotics, mobile and remote sensors; ancillary technologies and services: analytics and cyber security and convergent technologies, where new fields are being created through the combination of such existing fields as bio-informatics and biometrics. New technologies will also form the basis for whole new business and service models such as micropayments, manu-services and cloud-enabled business models in areas as diverse as education, healthcare, music, logistics and transport.
Finally, in the emerging-market surge, Accenture’s research shows that the rise of a multi-polar world will dramatically expand trade and investment opportunities. Spurred by the twin dynamics of a burgeoning middle class of consumers and rapid rates of urbanization, emerging-market demand is creating opportunities in exports of services, consumer and intermediate goods and such capital goods as machinery. Key growth opportunities presented by the surge in emerging-market demand include: low-cost goods and services (affordable cars, telecommunications, medicines, and healthcare and consumer products), financial services (insurance, micro-finance and mobile banking), infrastructure (energy grids, roads, ports, airports, railways, and waste systems), citizen services (health care, education, public safety, housing and transport).
Unlocking the Potential to New Growth Opportunities for Business
Accenture’s study identifies four steps that business should undertake in order to gain advantage from the new growth opportunities:
Create a multi-polar geographic strategy to tap emerging-market growth by building geographic options, becoming “authentically local” in the markets served, networking the organization, fostering leadership structures that reflect the multi-polar economy and designing an appropriate international operating model.
Harness the power of emerging technologies by embracing cloud computing’s potential for lowering costs and creating new business models, and advanced analytics to forecast demand as customer demographics and profiles change. Anticipate the devolution of technology into the workplace, and get ready for even more pervasive consumer-led IT.
Innovate everywhere by focusing on the commercialization of new technology, searching for innovative ideas around the world and exploring the potential of taking products from niche to mass-market. Create open innovation networks to capture the best ideas from all of the company’s stakeholders.
Collaborate and coordinate with other sectors, so that business, government and the non-profit sectors each play a part, collectively and individually, in addressing large-scale growth opportunities.
Find talent in unexpected places by “age-proofing” the workforce and keeping employees up to date with the latest skills and knowledge, “recycling” experience within the organization, finding new skills in traditional industries and building green skills.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 211,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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