Seamless IT and Communications Networks Are Key to Global Business Expansion
67 Percent of Executives Describe Global Reach as an 'Important' or 'Critical' Attribute of Their Network
San Antonio, Texas, October 3, 2007
London, UK - AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced that the integration of communications and IT networks is critical to making global expansion work, according to the results of a global survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of AT&T.
The worldwide survey of 497 senior executives reveals that 42 percent of firms will be deriving half or more of their revenue from foreign markets within two years, compared to 30 percent of firms that can claim this today. Emerging markets such as China and India figure prominently as the overseas destinations of greatest interest, but developed nations — especially the United States — also continue to be of focus for companies aiming to expand in the global marketplace.
Key findings also show that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are highly favoured as a growth vehicle by respondents — 40 percent considered this part of their company's international growth strategy during the next two years. However, the difficulty of integrating communications and IT networks is identified as a common M&A pitfall by 13 percent of those polled. IT and network integration can indeed make or break a cross-border merger.
Overall, the survey exposes the centrality of IT and network capabilities to successful globalisation. Companies today realise their growth abroad must be supported by corresponding IT and network investment. To enable expansion, one in five companies plans to increase investment in its network during the next two years by more than 25 percent, and another 43 percent of surveyed executives say their companies will boost spending between 10 percent and 25 percent.
"It is clear from this research that globalisation is really hitting its stride," said Geoff Webster, AT&T vice president, Global Ventures and Business Development. "Where global expansion is concerned, M&As seem to be particularly favoured by senior executives. And a crucial part of an M&A is how the technology is put together. The advanced IP networking technologies available today make possible a level of visibility and control of disparate global operations not available a decade ago, and these make it much more effective for transition and integration and, ultimately, a successful M&A."
"The potential rewards of global expansion are immense, from revenue windfalls in high-growth emerging markets to substantial efficiencies from the use of overseas suppliers and services providers," said Denis McCauley, director of Global Technology Research with the Economist Intelligence Unit. "But in order to harness this, companies need to think not only about using clear management thinking and flexible structures but also the right technology for the job."
The full results of the survey are published by AT&T in a white paper entitled "Meeting the challenges of global expansion". Copies of the white paper can be downloaded from the AT&T Web site at www.att.com/emea/insights/whitepaper/s5_globalization.html.
Other white papers from AT&T and the EIU are available at www.att.com/emea/insights/whitepaper.
Find more information online:
Survey and Research Methodology
As part of the research for the paper, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an online worldwide survey of 497 senior executives across 49 countries and over 20 industries. The majority of respondents came from Asia Pacific (31.8%), Western Europe (23.3%), and North America (20.9%). Other respondents came from Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. 53.2% of those polled hailed from large firms with annual revenue of more than US$500 million. The top five industry sectors represented by the survey respondents were professional services, financial services, healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, IT and technology, and manufacturing. In addition to the survey research, the EIU conducted a series of one-to-one in-depth interviews with senior executives and analysts.
About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (www.eiu.com) is the business information arm of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. Through its global network of over 500 analysts, the Economist Intelligence Unit continuously assesses and forecasts political, economic and business conditions in nearly 200 countries. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, the Economist Intelligence Unit helps executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
© 2006 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.
Note: This AT&T news release and other announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss.