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PwC Up front | Issue 5 | Harnessing technology

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4 Up front Summer 2014 "Even when you take a holiday from technology, technology doesn't take a break from you." Douglas Coupland, novelist and visual artist "Acquiring pre-emptive knowledge about emerging technologies is the best way to ensure that we have a say in the making of our future." Catarina Mota, inventor of high-tech materials and open-source advocate "You have to pick carefully … Innovation is saying 'no' to 1,000 things." Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Apple Inc. Blue sky Hands off my high-tech cluster Without ground-floor contributions from the U.S. government, Silicon Valley might not exist: funding, flexible immigration laws and robust intellectual property all helped attract the big brains. More recently, the U.K. government threw its weight behind East London Tech City, also known as Silicon Roundabout – and that innovation cluster grew from 15 start-ups in 2008 to more than 1,300 today. Closer to home, the Ontario government is considering a high-speed train to connect the Toronto business core with the 1,500-plus start-ups clustered around Kitchener-Waterloo. Still, just 30 per cent of global CEOs think such ecosystems are the responsibility of government, and a mere 18 per cent believe governments are good at fostering them. Breakthrough innovation and growth (PwC, 2013) Innovation action plan Three steps to developing the repeatable, dependable and scalable technology needed for new products and business models: 1 Focus on breakthroughs. Competitors can respond to – or top – incremental changes quickly, but breakthroughs are where you'll really increase revenues and margins. 2 Put formal, disciplined innovation techniques in place. Creativity isn't a free-for-all, but it can't be too structured either. Find the balance that works for your firm today – and don't assume that balance will never change. 3 Increase collaboration. Consider this: the most innovative companies work with their customers to co-create new products and services almost twice as often as the least innovative companies. Breakthrough innovation and growth (PwC, 2013) The more things change, the faster they change With technology evolving this quickly, no wonder 69 per cent of Canadian CEOs worry that the speed of change can hamper growth. Who wants to bet on the wrong horse and end up being the next Betamax? MIT Technology Review (May 2012); 17th Annual Global CEO Survey (PwC, 2014) Change agents What force do global CEOs think will most transform their business in the next five years? Social media, mobile devices, big data and other technological advances Demographic shifts Shift in global economic power 17th Annual Global CEO Survey (PwC, 2014) years 25 Time it took for telephones to achieve 10 per cent market penetration in the U.S. years 2.5 Time it took tablets to do the same

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