China and the US lead the way for new technology innovation, cloud and mobile see highest take-up, says KPMG survey

China and US lead the way for new technology innovation


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China and the US are set to lead the way for new global technology innovations, with cloud and mobile technologies seeing the largest take-up amongst consumers, according to KPMG LLP’s latest Global Technology Innovation survey. 

The global report surveyed 668 business executives in the Americas, Asia Pacific Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These include technology industry startups, mid-size to large enterprises, venture capital firms, and angel investors.

One of the key findings of the survey was that around thirty percent of respondents said China is likely to produce the most disruptive breakthroughs with a global impact; 29 percent of respondents highlighted the US, while 13 percent cited India.

The findings are in line with current objectives outlined by the Chinese government, which is promoting numerous technology and innovation-led projects across the seven Strategic Emerging Industries, as part of aims to move up the value chain. These include clean energy technology, next-generation IT, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, alternative energy, new materials and clean energy vehicles.

Egidio Zarrella, Partner, Clients and Innovation Consulting, KPMG China, said: “The broader high tech environment in China is emerging at speed and scale, and is seen as one of the game changing enablers for the country’s economic transformation. The survey findings demonstrate that China’s innovation investment has fostered an environment for the development of disruptive technologies that is growing by leaps and bounds.”

“The Chinese Government is encouraging significant investment in three key areas – shared services and outsourcing, as well as payments and cloud computing. The 12th Five-Year Plan is also driving innovation in these critical areas, in order to create a nationwide virtual environment.”

China currently has five designated Cloud Computing Service Innovation Pilot Cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuxi and Hangzhou. And most respondents expect Cloud to drive business transformation and become an indispensable consumer technology over the next three years.

When asked to consider what technology will have a major impact by 2015, 31 percent globally said Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) will enable the next indispensable consumer technology. In terms of driving enterprise business transformation, 22 percent said Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), followed closely by SaaS (21 percent), will have the greatest impact. 

Mobile technologies followed as the next technology breakthrough, as almost 30 percent of global respondents said they expect the greatest business transformation to come from smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies.

Survey respondents also identified Apple as the top company driving new technology innovation, while internet companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon are cited as leading the mobile payments market share over the next two to four years. In China, executives surveyed said that in their view, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the top visionary and Jack Ma, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba, the innovation leader.

Meanwhile, forty-four percent of respondents said they expect the world’s main technology innovation centre to move from Silicon Valley in the U.S to another country in the next four years. Of those globally who believe the centre will shift, most (44 percent) said it would move to China.

Egidio adds: “We see that China is shifting from a low-cost manufacturing base to a land of micro-innovations, breakthroughs and a centre for R&D operations. The cloud is already ubiquitous in China, many consumers don’t realise how often they access it for services like emails, mobile applications and social networking.”

“In fact, the Chinese government plans to invest USD154 billion to boost the cloud industry over the next few years. This is likely to further encourage involvement from domestic players, as well as an increase in foreign direct investments (FDI).” 


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About the report

In the March - May 2012 survey of 668 business executives globally whose organizations were focused on the technology space, thirty-four percent of the respondents were in the Americas, 42 percent in Asia Pacific, and 23 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In regards to countries, 25 percent were from the United States, 14 percent from China and 9 percent from Israel.

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About KPMG 

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KPMG China has 13 offices (including KPMG Advisory (China) Limited) in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Macau, with around 9,000 professionals.

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