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3/4/2009
08:02 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Is U.S. Losing Role As #1 Market For New Technologies?

A deeper and broader entrepreneurial drive among consumers in India, Brazil, and China is displacing the U.S. from its leading role as the key market for new networked technologies, according to a report from Accenture. "To put it bluntly, these consumers see networked technologies and services as a way to make money," a news article about the study says.

A deeper and broader entrepreneurial drive among consumers in India, Brazil, and China is displacing the U.S. from its leading role as the key market for new networked technologies, according to a report from Accenture. "To put it bluntly, these consumers see networked technologies and services as a way to make money," a news article about the study says.This common-sense but still slightly jarring revelation about the changing role of the U.S. market in the world economy appeared in an article published a few hours ago in The Economic Times of India under the headline, "Next Silicon Valley emerging in India, China: Accenture." And the study makes it very clear that the line separating technology adoption in developed countries versus developing countries is blurring very rapidly, the article said.

"Concluding that emerging countries are an extremely receptive market for new ideas and services even more than North America and Europe, the study said communications and hi-tech companies should look to the developing world to test such ideas, trends, devices and other technologies," The Economic Times reported.

(Full disclosure: I haven't seen a copy of the study itself -- a quick search of the Accenture Web site turned up empty, and this piece was being written early in the morning before Accenture could be reached by phone.)

The article stressed that the primary factor behind this significant shift is that while Americans might regard smartphones and other networked devices as nice-to-have accessories, consumers in the BIC countries see them as essential tools that can not only raise the quality of their personal lives but also serve as career accelerators.

"Consumers in developing nations also believe the networked, digital world can influence their lives positively. Significantly higher percentages of consumers in Brazil, India and China agree that the trend toward networked devices will help them save time, create new business opportunities and advance their careers. To put it bluntly, these consumers see networked technologies and services as a way to make money," the study said.

"As a huge middle class rapidly mature in places like India and China, they are going to want and expect advanced networked services, creating major new opportunities for providers."

For CIOs, this study's findings should reinforce the sense of opportunity that emerging markets offer and should be factored into global strategies for everything from development to manufacturing to marketing and customer engagement.

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