Technology & Innovation

The DNA of an Adaptive Enterprise: Opportunity in a digital economy

June 03, 2021


The DNA of an adaptive enterprise: Opportunity in a digital economy

June 03, 2021

Jason Wincuinas

Manager, Policy and insights

Based in Hong Kong, Jason covers Asia from Australia to India. His background includes managing publications, financial reporting and technical marketing as well as a decade of product-sourcing experience with mainland China factories. Some of his most formative work, however, has been as a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer, covering topics from perfluorocarbons to popcorn. Jason received a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with study at the University of Sheffield in Yorkshire, UK.

The virtues of business adaptability—a capacity to anticipate and respond to change and swiftly, effectively evolve—have never been more apparent than during the covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has brought about profound change, affecting long-standing consumer behaviours and preferences, and in some cases permanently changing competitive landscapes.

In 2020, businesses had to make consequential decisions in short order—rapidly modifying business models, accelerating digital transformation, seeking out new revenue streams, moving or re-thinking supply chains, entering new product or geographic markets, and improving online customer experiences. This report looks at how they did it.

The DNA of an adaptive enterprise: Opportunity in a digital economy is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by Stripe. 

The analysis in this report is based on a survey of 600 C-level executives conducted in September and October 2020. Around a third of the respondents (34%) are based in Europe, another third (33%) in North America and the balance in Asia-Pacific. Their companies are distributed across a wide range of industries, with the largest representation from the financial services (15%), technology (15%) and retail (11%) sectors. Just over half (53%) of the respondents work in companies earning annual revenue of over US$500m, with the rest earning between US$100m and US$500m. Most of the companies represented (83%) are no older than 20 years, and 44% have existed for fewer than ten years.

Additional insights were obtained from in-depth interviews with founders, chief executives, other C-level executives and subject matter experts. We would like to thank the following for their time:

  • Bonin Bough, Chief Growth Officer, Triller; Founder, Bonin Ventures
  • Josh Hug, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Remitly
  • Sunil Gupta, Edward W Carter Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University
  • Navneet Kapoor, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Maersk
  • Ian Rogers, Chief Experience Officer, Ledger; formerly Chief Digital Officer, LVMH
  • Steve Vamos, Chief Executive Officer, Xero
  • Nick Waters, Chief Executive Officer, Ebiquity

The report was written by Denis McCauley and edited by Jason Wincuinas.

Please fill in the form below to access the full report.

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