Opinie Archive

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Ericsson ConsumerLab Report – 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2018

Imagine you have just arrived home from work. You wave your hand, and the lamp turns on, flashing the light in greeting. The home speaker begins to play music, but when you give it an exasperated look, it turns off. You make a coffee, but grimace because it’s too bitter. The coffee machine immediately offers to add sugar or milk.

Two things are conspicuously absent from this vision of a not-too-distant future. One is an appliance with switches and knobs, and the other is a smartphone full of remote control apps. Our research indicates that consumers are increasingly moving towards a paradigmatic shift in how they expect to interact with technology. Ever more things are becoming connected, but the complexities of how to control them all are a different matter.

On the one hand, alternative yet equally good user interface solutions for simple functions have existed for much longer than we’ve had electronic gadgets. A Westerner who experiences an Asian meal for the first time soon finds out that the user interface to that meal is a pair of chopsticks rather than a knife and fork. On the other hand, mass-market acceptance of digital technology has made the proliferation of user interfaces practically infinite. Every new device with a screen adds new user interface variations, which are then multiplied by the number of apps within each gadget.

Today you have to know all the devices. But tomorrow all the devices will have to know you. If consumers continue to be faced with the prospect of learning and relearning how to use devices in the face of an ever-increasing pace of technological change, they will become increasingly reluctant to buy in to the future. We might already be close to that breaking point. The current generation of “flat” user interfaces do not use 3D effects or embellishments to make clickable interface elements, such as buttons, stand out. It is difficult for users to know where to click. As a result, they navigate web pages 22 percent slower.1 For this reason, our trends for 2018 and beyond focus on various aspects of more direct interaction between consumers and technology.

With 5G, connectivity is set to become ubiquitous. This might sound simple, but it involves a huge technology upgrade; devices must be able to relay complex human interaction data to cloud-based processing, and respond intuitively within milliseconds. The Internet of Things (IoT) must provide interoperability between all devices, and allow for mobility. Network availability also needs to be maintained, so that devices do not suddenly go offline and lose their human-like capabilities.

More: www.ericsson.com

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EY Tax alert

Report on recent US international tax developments. The United States (US) Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 4 June issued a news release (IR-2018-131) announcing that certain late-payment penalties relating to the Internal Revenue Code Section 965 repatriation transition tax will be waived, and providing additional information for individuals subject to the transition tax regarding the due date for relevant elections. The relief is explained in three new FAQs posted on the IRS’ tax reform page, supplementing 14 existing questions and answers that provide details on reporting and paying the tax.

The IRS announced that, in some cases, the IRS will waive estimated tax penalties for taxpayers subject to the transition tax who improperly attempted to apply a 2017 calculated overpayment to their 2018 estimated tax, if all required estimated tax payments are made by 15 June 2018. In addition, the IRS will waive the late payment penalty for individual taxpayers who missed the 18 April 2018 deadline, if the installment is paid in full by 15 April 2019. This relief is only available if the total transition tax liability is less than US$1 million.

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EY’s new Tax News Update: Global  Edition is a free, personalized email subscription service that allows you to receive EY Global Tax Alerts, newsletters, events, and thought leadership published across all areas of tax. For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

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More: Global Tax alert library in https://www.ey.com

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Global Illicit Trade Environment Index 2018

 

Economies around the world are facing the blight of illicit trade, which poses a threat to public health, the environment and innovation, and provides funds for transnational crime networks and terrorist organisations. How equipped are countries to prevent illicit trade?

To measure how nations are addressing the issue of illicit trade, the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) has commissioned The Economist Intelligence Unit to produce the Global Illicit Trade Environment Index, which evaluates 84 economies around the world on their structural capability to protect against illicit trade. The global index expands upon an Asia-specific version originally created by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2016 to score 17 economies in Asia.

Finland ranks first in the Index with a score of 85.6 (out of 100), just barely ahead of the U.K. The rest of the top 10 includes a handful of European countries (Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark and Germany), along with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. At the bottom of the Index ranking is a group of developing economies from all regions of the globe. Libya ranks last with a score of 8.4, and is joined by Iraq in 83rd place, scoring less than six points better. Filling out the bottom ten of the Index are: Myanmar, Laos, Venezuela, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Belize and Ukraine. Regionally, Europe (34 economies in the index), earns the highest the average score (68.0). The Asia-Pacific (21 economies) comes second at 56.0 and the Americas (19 economies), including the U.S. and Canada, is third at 54.0. The Middle East and Africa (10 economies) comes in last, with an average score of 50.0. The Index is constructed on consideration of government policy, supply and demand, transparency and trade, and customs environment.

The Global Illicit Trade Environment Index is based on a similar index that was devised  and constructed in 2016 by Chris Clague. The 2018 update and expansion was conducted by Trisha Suresh, Michael Frank, with assistance from Chris Clague. Chris Clague wrote this report, focusing on the overall results, and Scott Aloysius provided research support. It was edited by Amanda Simms.

View the Interactive Index >>

 More: https://www.tracit.org/

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McKinsey – Economic Conditions Snapshot

Global respondents see trade-policy changes as rising risks to growth, and those in developed economies report a more cautious outlook overall than their emerging-economy peers.

Respondents around the world are sanguine about the current state of the global economy and their economies at home, according to McKinsey’s newest survey on economic conditions. But as they look ahead, they are less likely to expect global improvements, and their views divide along regional lines. Respondents in developed economies report a much more guarded outlook on their own economies, the world economy as a whole, and their trade prospects, relative to their peers in emerging economies. In particular, those in North America are more likely than others to expect declining economic conditions and trade levels, as well as changes in trade policy.

Overall, the results underline the central role that the United States plays in respondents’ thinking about growth prospects. When respondents were asked which countries will provide their companies with the biggest growth opportunities in the next year, they most often cite the United States, where interest rates—along with trade policy—have become outsize concerns. In every other region, executives also cite changes in trade policy as a risk to global growth. Since our previous survey, the share saying so has more than doubled, and the issue has also emerged as a growing risk to domestic growth and to the growth of respondents’ companies.

Increasing hopefulness in emerging economies, and waning expectations in developed ones

As we saw in the past two surveys, respondents’ views on current economic conditions remain decidedly upbeat. Fifty-eight percent of all respondents say conditions in their home economies are better now than they were six months ago—with those in India and Latin America reporting the rosiest views. Furthermore, 54 percent of respondents say global conditions are better now than they were six months ago. But their outlooks on future economic conditions diverge by region (Exhibit 1). When asked about their home economies six months from now, the shares expecting improvements range from less than 40 percent in developed Asia and North America to upward of 70 percent in India.

The contributors to the development and analysis of this survey include Sven Smit, a senior partner in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office. He wishes to thank Alan FitzGerald and Vivien Singer for their contributions to this article.

More: McKinsey

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How Vital Companies Think, Act, and Thrive

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“How do you keep the vitality of day one, even inside a large organization?” — Jeff Bezos

Leadership has its benefits—scale, knowledge, influence, and financial stability among them. But our research shows that as companies age and grow, incumbents increasingly focus on internal matters, have more difficulty freeing themselves from legacy businesses and approaches, and progressively shift their priorities toward running—rather than reinventing—the business. Nontraditional competitors, disruptive technologies, and new business models are making corporate reinvention a critical priority.

 

How can legacy leaders remain vital—to preserve and develop their capacity for growth, risk taking, innovation, and long-term success? In creating a quantitative measure of corporate vitality and its underlying drivers, we hope to provide a working framework of what matters when managing the balance between delivering near-term execution and investing in the future. The drive to maintain vitality has organizational, financial, and cultural levers—all of which reinforce each other.

VITALITY: A NECESSITY FOR LONG-TERM GROWTH

The challenge is straightforward: growth is critical for sustained value creation. In the short term, companies can create value by optimizing costs or assets or by building investors’ expectations. Yet in the long run, most value creation comes from top-line growth, which accounts for 74% of total shareholder return of S&P 500 top-quartile-performing companies over a ten-year period.

The good news is that achieving sustainable growth is still possible for today’s incumbents. Approximately 10% of large US companies are growing at double-digit rates.  Among that 10%, many—such as Visa and Mastercard (credit cards), Hilton (hotels), Constellation Brands (alcoholic beverages), and O’Reilly (auto parts)—are from nontech industries. What is their secret?

In today’s rapidly changing environment—with elevated political, social, and technological uncertainty—what will make a company thrive tomorrow is different from what makes it succeed today. Current performance is less and less predictive, and an overreliance on backward-looking metrics can be deceptive. Many of today’s large incumbents are vulnerable, even if they have a solid track record of past performance.

And abrupt failures happen increasingly frequently—think Kodak or Blockbuster—in no small part because of the risk of digital disruption. Even when their positions seem comfortable, incumbents need to create a sense of urgency and preemptively address the requirements to sustained success. They must develop their capacity for growth and reinvention. This is what we call vitality.

We are able to measure vitality by using BCG’s proprietary methodology behind the Fortune Future 50—the result of a two-year research partnership between BCG and Fortune magazine. This index ranks the most vital US-listed companies. To build it, we collected all theories purporting to explain the ability of a company to grow and we associated them with measurable variables. We then tested those theories against historical data and only kept the variables that had a measurable and robust impact on long-term revenue growth. As expected, the age and size of a company have a negative impact on growth—confirming that the more established the incumbent, the harder it is to remain vital.

Authors: Martin Reeves, Gerry Hansell, and Rodolphe Charme di Carlo

More: BCG Henderson Institute

The BCG Henderson Institute is The Boston Consulting Group’s internal think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration from the Institute, please visit Ideas & Inspiration.