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Deloitte study points to 'evolving form of capitalism'

Jan 24
Tags: Deloitte
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Deloitte study points to 'evolving form of...

Deloitte, the multinational professional services network employing some 312,000 people worldwide, has released a new study in which it outlines a picture of an "evolving form of capitalism", defined by business leaders placing greater emphasis on their responsibilities to "societal stakeholders", as well as profitability.

The company's 2020 Industry 4.0 Readiness Report was based on the opinions of more than 2,000 C-suite executives from 19 countries around the world. It was published ahead of the World Economic Forum 2020, which took place in Davos, Switzerland from January 21st to 24th.

More than 200 corporate leaders from the UK took part in the research, offering their views on everything from emerging technologies to climate change.

The talent priority

One of the key outcomes of the UK survey indicated that talent investment is an important focus for executives at the moment. Nearly nine out of ten respondents (87 per cent) said they are focused on training and developing their workforces, compared to the global average of 74 per cent.

The vast majority of execs (95 per cent, compared to 82 per cent globally) felt confident their organisation had succeeded in creating a culture of lifelong learning, including ongoing training and development.

On the subject of social objectives, safeguarding privacy (66 per cent) and balancing profit with purpose (48 per cent) emerged as the two biggest priorities.

Less than four out of ten UK business leaders (36 per cent) identified tackling climate change as a top objective, putting them significantly behind the rest of the world (48 per cent) in this regard.

The research also examined strategy, finding that 31 per cent of executives of British companies (the third highest figure globally) believe they have comprehensive plans in place to adjust to Industry 4.0 - the digital transformation trend driven by technologies like automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Almost all respondents (98 per cent) felt ready to lead their firm in capitalising in this era, compared to 83 per cent globally.

On the subject of technology, IoT (92 per cent) is the area of Industry 4.0 innovation UK executives are most excited about, followed by sensors (88 per cent) and cloud computing (86 per cent).

Goals other than profit

According to Deloitte, one of the most significant conclusions of this research is that businesses are increasingly recognising the need to have a purpose beyond profit.

Richard Houston, the firm's UK senior partner and chief executive, said more British company leaders are trying to ensure decision-making is guided by a sense of purpose, with an eye on improving sustainability in "an increasingly competitive economy".

He added: "Driven by growing pressure from both internal and external stakeholders, organisations must continue to re-evaluate the way they conduct their business to demonstrate a positive impact on society.

"Those organisations that have a strong grasp of the issues that matter to employees, clients and the public will be best-placed to compete and retain top-quality talent."

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