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DELIVERING ON DATA: THE C-SUITE’S STRUGGLE TO EXTRACT FULL VALUE FROM INFORMATION

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Elizabeth Bramwell, director at Iron Mountain

Regardless of geography, company size or industry sector, business leaders can be remarkably unanimous about their strategic priorities. When it comes to the strategic significance of digital technologies, for example, 80[i] per cent of the respondents to PwC’s recent CEO survey ranked the need to extract value from information through data mining and analysis as strategically important, second only to mobile technologies (selected by 81 per cent).

Perhaps, as suggested by Forbes, CEOs have simply had enough of listening to colleagues present business ideas unsubstantiated by data and evidence[ii]. Or they are tired of having to make decisions based on impenetrable data that is impossible to understand, as suggested by the Economist Intelligence Unit[iii]. Either way, business leaders appreciate that information has become a vital business asset and competitive differentiator that holds the key to, among other things, better and faster decision-making, improved productivity, and enhanced innovation and customer experience.

As the PwC global CEO study shows, the majority of C-level executives know they need to have the practical resources and skills in place to extract the insight and intelligence they and their business units want from their information. Yet the reality is that despite the good intentions of top executives’, very few organisations are actually employing or deploying the required resources effectively.

A new international study by Iron Mountain and PwC[iv] has discovered that half (53 per cent) of C-level executives believe their organisation doesn’t have the tools or competence to extract the full value from information, and many (48 per cent) suspect that their competitors are doing a better job of it. Just four per cent of businesses appear to have all the skills and resources they need.

The study, which questioned 1,800 senior decision-makers in Europe and North America, including 225 C-level executives in Europe, reveals that many organisations lack understanding of the information they hold and how it is used.

Around a quarter of the European C-level respondents say their organisation doesn’t know what information it holds (23 per cent), how the information flows through the business or where it is either most valuable (28 per cent) or most vulnerable (24 per cent). A fifth (18 per cent) say their organisation doesn’t facilitate the internal sharing of information, and 27 per cent say the organisation doesn’t know how to calculate the value of information to the business.

Access to the right capabilities also represents a considerable challenge for many. A quarter (27 per cent) of the C-level executives surveyed admit to not employing data analysts to extract value from data. The same number confess to a lack of data interpretation (27 per cent) or insight application (26 per cent) skills that would help turn information into decision-ready facts, targeted marketing campaigns and improved processes and innovation.

In the light of this it is not surprising that around 43 per cent of the European and North American companies surveyed currently obtain little tangible benefit from their information and approximately 23 per cent derive no benefit whatsoever.

To help business leaders get to a point where they can start to reap real benefits, Iron Mountain worked with PwC to create an Information Value Index from the study findings. The Index measures how well different businesses in different countries currently manage their information for competitive advantage and realised an average score of 50.1 out of an ideal score of 100 (46.9 in the UK). The Index puts a marker in the sand that executives can use to compare their own performance with other businesses in their size and sector.

There is no time to waste. Over the last few years the information conversation has shifted. While information risk and security remain important, it’s no longer all about locking information down to keep it safe.  Business leaders are now focused on how to set information free and make full use of it for growth and competitive advantage. This new approach to information management will demand change in many areas. The impact of some changes will be easy to accommodate; others, including the impact on culture may be harder; but in the long term, the impact on the business of a failure to act will be the hardest of all.

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month, The Sunday Times reported https://bit.ly/3ujaBcU.

Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added.

According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn, at a cost to business of 3 billion pounds, with further rises in subsequent years.

Allies of Sunak clarified he would not increase corporation tax higher than 23%.

These measures will be helpful in paying for an extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cuts and business support loans until at least August.

Unlike the 2010 Conservative-led government, which pursued spending cuts to rebalance the economy after the global financial crisis, Sunak is expected to defer most of the toughest decisions about how to pay for that support in his budget speech.

“The corporation tax hike will be higher than expected and the extension of the support schemes will be longer than most people expect,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Insiders indicated the stamp duty holiday on property purchases would also be extended in line with the other coronavirus support measures, the report said.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

($1 = 0.7136 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 2

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 3

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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