Technology Industry Trends

There are certain fundamental or core dynamics that govern progress across the Technology industry that result in technology, product, business model shifts and other strategic responses at our clients. We refer to these core dynamics as the nine trends to effective business transformation.

Disruptive innovation

Cloud, mobile, social — these are fundamental trends that are reshaping the technology industry. What will be the next major disruption? Today's successful companies need to embrace the full spectrum of innovation — from incremental to breakthrough to radical — in both their R&D and business model strategies.
A successful innovation strategy supports your company's vision and capabilities. It combines organic innovation with acquisitions and co-creation resulting in a broad and deep capability.

How PwC can help

  • Identify potential M&A targets or appropriate co-creating partners
  • Assess current innovation strategy and operating model as compared to leading practices
  • Design and implement a leading-practice strategy and operating model
  • Develop and implement change management plan for cultural transformation

Managing cost & complexity

To boost corporate margins, and improve nimbleness and longevity, enterprises need to manage operational and product costs, and complexity. Relentless focus on doing this well through innovations in both technology and processes results in a more efficient cost structure. Further, utilizing a cloud-based infrastructure for all or part of a company’s IT needs can significantly trim IT spend.
For multi-site corporations, establishing a formal review process to assess the operational footprint at periodic intervals and as part of the long-range strategic planning process, can help you gain a substantial competitive edge—with more streamlined cost structures, more efficient supply chain processes, more shock-proof networks, and a range of other benefits.

How PwC can help

  • Assess current innovation strategy and operating model as compared to leading practices
  • Design and implement a leading-practice strategy and operating model
  • Establish transparent management of information and accountability to drive sustainable cost reduction
  • Reallocate infrastructure spend from operations to innovation
  • Build an IT infrastructure that can respond to changing priorities
  • Introduce an organizational structure and processes, which allows you to quickly deploy resources across your organization where they are most needed
  • Align your operational, tax and legal structures to achieve sustainable financial and operational benefits during business transformation

Consumerisation of IT

Employees are used to a user friendly experience with mobile devices, tablets, or personal computers. According to PwC's 5th Digital IQ survey, companies may more aggressively invest in social, mobile and analysis technologies.

What changes are IT departments making?

  • Developing enterprise applications that are easier to learn, and thus improving productivity
  • Developing user-friendly mobile applications
  • Implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs
  • Providing alternatives to email, such as internal chat and social networking

Key technology challenges:

  • Proliferation of devices with differing lifecycles
  • New device configuration and management requirements
  • Application development tools need to address multiple platforms
  • Increased IP and data protection and network security concerns

How PwC can help:

  • Providing new pricing and marketing strategies
  • Developing a prioritization and implementation schedule
  • Designing and implementing operational and IT strategies to manage cost and complexity without sacrificing growth
  • Developing a process to ensure the right decisions are being made on an ongoing basis
  • Creating a strategy to continuously monitoring the internal (organizational, operational) and external (customer, shareholder) impact


Convergence, which is occurring along many different dimensions, is rapidly changing the traditional business landscape. Companies that can adapt their strategy and execution to this new world, in a bold but sustainable way, will benefit from new markets, new customers, and new business models. Examples of convergence:

Convergence of device and services: Consumers and employees are increasingly using the same technology devices for similar activities – accessing corporate data to gain better insight into immediate and ongoing relationships (flight delays, package shipments, loyalty programs).

Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC): Consumers have ditched landline phones and gone completely wireless. These trends are fueling business-models such as shared telecom infrastructure. In the past telecom companies, for example ATT and Verizon, spent billions building their own wireline infrastructure. With FMC forcing a rapid shift to mobility, leading telecom companies around the world are beginning to share wireline and wireless infrastructure to save on capital expenditure.

Enterprise segment for smartphones: Due to trends such as consumerization of IT, consumer phones and tablets are becoming increasingly common in the enterprise. In response, many mobile device companies that primarily were focusing on the consumer market are increasingly focusing on the enterprise market.

How PwC can help:

  • Determining the appropriate business model(s) to address new markets
  • Identifying best fitting operational strategy that allows them to straddle the old and the new
  • Providing best practices on reaching, engaging, and retaining new customers
  • Accessing what talent is needed, how to attract and retain it or how to refocus / retrain existing assets
  • Designing strategy to encourage / acquire / nurture innovation to flourish in the changed landscape

Podcast: How convergence is impacting today's business models

Data explosion

From clicks to likes, today's networked world is creating vast amounts of data at a significantly increasing rate. Combine that with exponentially increasing internal data and you get the data explosion commonly known as Big Data. The ability to translate this vast array of structured and unstructured input into usable business intelligence provides a key competitive advantage for technology companies. By applying analysis of Big Data to pressing business issues, companies are reshaping their operations—and accelerating their business results. As its potential becomes more evident, Big Data will transform every aspect of the organization, from strategy and business model design to marketing, product development, HR, operations and more. Over time, organizations will become far more data-driven in how they make decisions, develop products and services, and interact with customers, employees and stakeholders at all levels.

How PwC can help

  • IT strategy and development
  • Data mapping, clean-up and migration
  • Information retention and management
  • Marketing and sales effectiveness
  • Customer experience design and analytical insights

IP and Data Protection

In an age of global collaboration and accelerating change, competitive advantage can be gained or lost in a flash. Business ecosystems and the business processes therein depend increasingly on information–and its security–everywhere business is conducted around the world. At the same time, business and information security leaders are becoming increasingly aware that cyber threats are more aggressive, more unrelenting, and more effective. In addition, new privacy laws and incidents of privacy violations, identity theft and personal information mismanagement have increased regulatory and consumer pressure to prevent disclosure or compromise of personally identifiable and sensitive information. From system failure and security breaches to intellectual property abuse and reputational damage from social media, building all aspects of digital risk into the corporate risk agenda is crucial, as is drawing on the latest tools, such as intellectual property and brand audits.

How PwC can help

  • Develop programs to proactively manage technical vulnerabilities and remedy identified breach points
  • Reduce the impact of cyber breaches
  • Spend wisely on enterprise-wide IT security
  • Extend IT security to third parties
  • Improve IT access and asset-management protocols

Social media

Because of their shortened product and marketing cycles, technology companies need to understand the impact of social media more than other companies. It is crucial to understand quickly what features customers want in their devices and systems, and especially how they feel about new features and products after they’ve been introduced. “Social” is about the promise of building intimate, longer-lasting customer relationships. How to do that, consistently, and then translate those relationships into revenue remains the key challenge.

How PwC can help

  • Determining appropriate social media strategy and how it fits into the overall brand strategy
  • Assessing what kind of analytics are needed to support decision making
  • Identify the organizational implications of social networking at work
  • Designing a crisis management plan

Changing dynamics − G7 & E7

Emerging economies are important markets—both in size and growth. In fact, China, India, Brazil and the other emerging markets are becoming not just low-cost production locations but also increasingly large consumer markets and companies seeking growth will need to look increasingly to these emerging markets. To be successful, technology companies will need to develop products that appeal to a "mobile only" demographic used to using a single device that provides both data and voice, that requires little or no technical support and runs simple and straightforward applications. These markets can be challenging places to do business. It is important to understand and adapt to local rules, regulations and customs. The right entry strategy or the right joint venture partner(s) is crucial, as are good relations with local government and regulatory bodies. Regional geographic knowledge is critical because, in some cases, the optimal production locations may not be the same as the largest consumer markets (e.g. investing in Malaysia, Indonesia or Vietnam as a gateway to China or India, or in Poland as a gateway to Russia). Offering both vast opportunity as well as many challenges, a great deal of their future growth may very well depend of tech companies' ability to adapt offerings and business models to emerging economies.

How PwC can help

  • International tax structuring
  • Legal, regulatory and investigative
  • In-source/out-source strategy
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Operational footprint
  • Global network of offices in 158 countries

Political and regulatory landscape

Regulation As companies globalize, they face a growing body of diverse and complex regulations. No matter how large, small or diversified your organization, almost every part of it is touched by a complex web of constantly evolving regulations – and subject to enforcement actions and fines. Not to mention reputational risk. This is why CEOs consistently report over-regulation as a threat to business growth. Regulatory compliance is not just about playing defense. It also offers an opportunity to consistently strengthen your organization through strategic, proactive measures – such as best practices, employee training, internal controls, and benchmarking appropriate for your industry and size.

Taxes The increasing tax burden is one of the most important concerns of CEOs1, driving the adoption of proper internal controls and robust financial reporting processes to satisfy tax authorities, regulators and other stakeholders. At the same time, tax authorities worldwide are concerned with ensuring both increased compliance amongst taxpayers, and that their fiscal policies are not overtaken by global business and economic developments.

Sustainability Companies are recognizing that more stakeholders in more places are looking for businesses to bring value to their societies. This is being brought into sharper focus by the growing influence of emerging economies, and calls for a new way of operating in the global economy.

How PwC can help

  • Establish solid data governance and design approaches
  • Identify and reduce tax risks
  • Implement tax strategies that complement your business and operational objectives
  • Develop a data management strategy and plan
  • Assess your current global exposure to environmental taxes and regulations; help you to manage risks and optimize your tax position from a sustainability perspective; and proactively engage with regional policy makers
  • Understand your sustainability compliance obligations and take advantage of subsidies, grants, taxes and other incentives; develop strategies that optimize the impacts of carbon, climate change and resource scarcity on your tax position; and prepare for future policy developments
  • Meet compliance obligations through solid energy reporting, transfer pricing for financing structures and assuring carbon-related data
  • Understand and quantify the environmental and social benefits and costs of your organization’s current operations and practices

How PwC can help

As your business grows across all areas—PwC is here to help you from strategy through execution. For a deeper discussion on our Service Offerings please contact one of PwC’s US Technology Industry leaders.