The global economy and technology is rapidly shifting the nature of competition and strategy in the late twentieth century, moving us toward a `new competitive landscape' in the twenty-first century. Competitive landscape enables us to analyze a particular environment to observe the conditions under which competitiveness emerge from. Apart from the roles of governments, industries and businesses, global economy and rapid technological changes are the fundamental drivers for this current competitive landscape. This new competitive landscape presents new issues, new concepts, new problems and new challenges. Global economy is defined as the system of industry and trade around the world that has developed as the result of globalization, which simply means the way in which economies have been developing to operate together as one system globally. Technology is rapidly changing the nature of competition and strategy in the past decades, evolving us toward a ‘new competitive landscape’ in the twenty‐first century. The new competitive landscape presents new issues, new concepts, new problems and new challenges.
The global economy is now operating with 24/7/365 business connectivity; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s easy to send a text or email to an office halfway around the world, retrieve data within a few seconds from three different locations.Even business meeting can be arranged via apps for conference video call with multiple representatives from a dozen different countries. Customers can access products and services at any time, allowing businesses to continue to make profits even when their physical store is closed. This connectivity has changed the competitive business landscape by applying the idea that businesses must keep up and be technology savvy. If today’s businesses lack tech skills, consequences will be falling behind, losing customers to the businesses that have committed to being connected every second of every day.
The obvious global phenomenon is that people everywhere are being glued to their mobile phones hence businesses are taking advantage of this trend. Mobile commerce or in short, M-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smart-phones and tablets. As a form of e-commerce, m-commerce is the current business concept and trend that enables “on the go” users to access online shopping platforms without needing to use a desktop computer. Examples of m-commerce include in-app purchasing, mobile banking, virtual marketplace apps like the Alibaba mobile app or a digital wallet such as Boost, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Alipay. Thanks to m-commerce, businesses have been able to monetize more than ever. Before mobile applications existed, customers had to walk into a shop that operates with the typical business hours and pay for an item. It then evolved to calling in and ordering over the phone to purchase items locally that can be delivered directly to the home address. Next was the use of internet, global online shopping became an option. Now, thanks to the prevalent use of smart phones and tablets, businesses can offer transactions through a wide variety of apps. Retailers, restaurants, and even gaming companies offer customers the option to pay through apps on their phone in a fast, secure manner.
It is crucial for businesses to keep current customer data in order to keep up with customer trends and craft with the use of the most effective marketing plans possible. Equipped with only a swipe of the smart phones, businesses with customers from all over the world can take advantage of the apps to gather data in real-time, making it possible to react to customer trends and new habits immediately. Various tools allow the huge amount of customer data gathered every day to be analyzed and sorted into customer sets that can be utilized in a variety of different ways. This ease of access enables data to be shared between different office locations or departments quickly and easily through online task management programs, is influencing the current competitive business landscape that no matter where the business is physically located, it is possible to share and analyse data quickly, hence safely encrypted too.
With all the data collected, business do not need to print, rent a storage space with annual rent fee and then share those physical data via fax or post anymore. The cloud/ i-cloud and various cloud-based applications have made it possible for businesses to retrieve data from anywhere that is accessible via the internet. Businesses can also save cost on software expenditures by “leasing” it from the cloud. They subscribe to the software as to its needed, and when it’s not, the subscription can simply be cancelled.
Before the internet access, primary interactions between customers and businesses were made in person or over the phone. With easy access through social media sites, texting, and apps, global business to business interactions and businesses with customer interactions and communications is made possible on a daily basis, sharing everything from coupons and product announcements to fun videos and live reviews. With the rapid change of the mobile phone use, the social media apps is recognised as one of the major forms of advertisement tool, with the technology that has made it possible to go online anytime, anywhere and with audiences from every corners of the world.
For years businesses have kept their money, bonds, top secret formula, designs, and their prototypes from being stolen and broken into by hiring the top security management to keep the business property safe. In this cyber era that comes with all of these data storing apps, cloud servers, and other online systems, it also means that businesses must be very careful with their cyber security. “Cyber-defense” has gone from a non-concern to an industry that makes billions every year. Businesses must invest in strong antivirus, locking servers down from hackers, and using an advanced intrusion prevention, and detection system. However, there has yet been a system that is 100% hack-proof, but the stronger the security is, then there is a lesser chance of a malicious attack. Businesses with weaker security systems is often than not aimed by hackers, so business that that decided to not invest in security solutions may find themselves targeted more often than those that are wise to invest in better security systems.
The digitalized industrial revolution, also referred to as Industry 4.0, is the fourth significant industrial era, identified by its fusion of physical, digital, and biological technologies. Industry 4.0 builds off of the digital revolution, further integrating emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, facial recognition systems, and both augmented and virtual reality software into global societies and the human experience. While the changes of both global economy and technology has radically increased incomes and economic growth in developing countries and lowered consumer prices in developed countries, it also changes the shifted and changed the current competitive business landscape. Some workers tend to change their careers due to the shifting location of goods production that has caused many jobs to cross borders. Furthermore, the issue raised here is that artificial intelligence and automation are being used for tedious manual and repetitive tasks, saving companies the cost of hiring employees is affecting some profession. For example, “Live chatbots” help customers get their queries answered in a timely, automated fashion, taking away the burden from understaffed call centres. According to a study, 47 % of currently existing jobs in America are at high risk of potential automation in the coming decades. Artificial intelligence is enabling businesses to experience fascinating, previously-hidden insights and to hit bigger targets than ever before. The aplication of artificial intelligence augments executive decision-making through big data analytics, offers cross-industry functionality, better customer interaction and understanding, is boosting global enterprises on a mass scale.
As technology changes and evolves, the global economy will go hand in hand too in influencing the competitive business landscape. To succeed in a competitive business landscape in any given time, businesses must align their strategic goals with the latest technology initiatives and be far quicker than their competitors in evolving towards a changing global economy. It is far more important to create the instances for the business to become flexible and adapt fast to the economy needs than to focus on a one-time only investment that is going to reduce costs or increase productivity. These technologies have proven to evolve rapidly, so business decision makers must be quick enough to be able to take on the technology opportunities as they come.