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China To Replace Silicon Valley: Study

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China is seen as the next global technology innovation center replacing Silicon Valley, according to the KPMG Global Technology Innovation Survey released on Thursday.

Forty-four percent of global respondents said it was likely that what many consider the technology innovation center of the world would shift from Silicon Valley to another country in the next four years, while 23 per cent of those surveyed said it is unlikely and 34 per cent were undecided. Not surprisingly, only 28 per cent of the US respondents think the shift is likely, while more than half in ASPAC, and more than 40 per cent in EMEA see the move as likely. Of those globally who believe the center will shift, most (44 per cent) said it would move to China.

Asked to predict future disruptive technologies and the next epicenter for innovation, almost 30 per cent of the respondents across Americas, Asia Pacific (ASPAC), Europe, the Middle East and Africa said China and the US show the most promise for disruptive breakthroughs with global impacts, while 13 per cent cited India.

Interestingly, only 39 per cent of US respondents selected the US as most promising, while 71 per cent in China selected China.

Apple ranked as the top innovator globally, followed by Google and Microsoft. while in India it was Infosys. The Indian IT bellwether was identified as the innovation leader in a global tech innovation survey done across Americas, Asia Pacific (ASPAC), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by KPMG.

Among innovation visionaries, Steve Jobs was recognised as the top global innovation visionary, followed by Bill Gates. In China specifically, Gates was the top visionary and Jack Ma the innovation leader.

At the same time, about one-third globally pointed to Google, Facebook and Amazon as emerging leaders in mobile commerce.

In the last decade, India has made substantial and rapid strides on the path of innovation-based development and already managed to adapt and implement a number of measures to support this development. The Government has invested significantly in technology. Communication technology like 3G has already made a mark in India and with the introduction of the 4G; technology will no longer play a support role in most businesses, it is expected to become key enabler and business models will be driven by the technology. Cloud has also been leveraged and several e-Governance initiatives have been launched. While the Government is one of the primary pillars to drive innovation & cutting-edge technology, involvement of the private sector is also equally important for swift and effective enablement.

Cloud Rules, For Now
Asked what technology will have a major impact by 2015, 30 per cent of the survey respondents globally said Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) will enable the next indispensable consumer technology. with regard to driving business transformation, 22 per cent said cloud infrastructure as a Service, followed closely by SaaS, will have the greatest impact. In the US, SaaS was the top selection in consumer and enterprise technologies.

Mobile technologies also are seen as a significant beneficiary of Cloud, as almost 30 percent of global respondents expect that the next tech breakthrough in four years resulting in the greatest business transformation will come from smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies.

Innovation Development, Challenges, Barriers
The survey uncovered differences in who or what function is responsible for driving innovation in companies. About three in 10 globally said the CEO has the responsibility to drive innovation in their company, while 20 per cent, including half the respondents in China, said it was the responsibility of the Chief Innovation Officer. Fifteen per cent each cited the Chief Information Officer and research and development.  Some 38 percent said that innovation is most often spotted and nurtured in the R&D department, followed by IT and strategic planning, while the majority of those surveyed use revenue growth as the metric to measure innovation value.

Asked whether their education system serves as an incubator for innovator thinkers, slightly more than half believed this was true. In China, close to 75 per cent thought this was true, while in the US, less than half thought so.

The pace of technology innovations today is happening at unparalleled speed and China's projected rapid rise to prominence as a technology leader would be another example of this," said Gary Matuszak, partner, global chair and US leader for KPMG's Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.

"China's anticipated parity with the US tech sector shows the significant challenge facing the US to retain its position as an innovation leader. Other countries will continue taking steps to boost technology innovation and to attract tech entrepreneurs," he added.

As for adopting future technologies, cost/pricing models was pointed to by survey respondents as the top challenge to adopting the next indispensable consumer technologies, while security/privacy governance is the number one challenge to adopting future business transforming technologies and also is the top barrier to commercializing disruptive innovation.