In an Unstable World, Businesses Need to be Flexible: Canalys CEO

Spotlight on Canalys Channels Forum APAC |

While delivering his keynote address at the Canalys Channels Forum APAC 2019 (#CCFAPAC) event in Taipei, Steve Brazier, President and CEO, Canalys said that the world is getting increasingly unstable and it is impacting the overall technology ecosystem as well. In such a scenario, business leaders need to focus on embracing change with great flexibility and agility.

“The World is Getting Unstable and that is impacting all of you – the protests in Hong Kong, but it not just the protests in Hong Kong that is disrupting business, we have also seen mass protests in Jakarta, and more recently students protesting in Delhi – around the world there are protests taking place – in Santiago, in La Paz, in Bogota. The levels of political disconnect between the haves and the have nots are growing and we are seeing the consequences come out in a number of different ways.

What does this mean for the business leaders? They need to be more flexible, they have to react to change, they have to be nimble, all uncertainties don’t carry on into new predictabilities and flexibility, and the ability to react to change has now become the number one business requirement.”

He also emphasized the growing impact of climate change on business continuity and viability – and there is a need to increasingly look at creating a circular economy in order to cope with such situations.

“It is also partly about politics and the clash between haves and have nots and also about climate change. Australia getting devastated by bush fires recently, the typhoon that disrupted the rugby world cup in Japan, there are droughts in Chennai, draughts in Mekong Delta. So we have the twin problem of polities and climate sustainability impacting our business. We all need to do more in order to create sustainable and environmentally aware businesses. The ability to create a circular economy is important,” he explained.

He mentioned that there is a rise in second hand goods market and a growing shift in driving manufacturing outside of China, where countries such as Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are benefitting.

“We are seeing a rise in second hand goods market – particularly in smartphones but also in areas like PC, servers and storage. Taking products that have been in use for three to four years in a rich country and then maybe shipping them to a poorer country – this is still in high demand.

On top of all this – there is this trade war between US and China that has clearly led to the slowing of the Chinese economy – a shift of manufacturing outside of China and also increasingly creating a two tier tech industry where for instance in 5G – we may end up with a Chinese set of standards and a western set of standards.

It is not only about US and China – there is tension between South Korea and Japan.

Manufacturing is shifting out of China, and there are some countries that are benefiting from that – manufacturing is shifting to Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam. There are the countries that are winning from this shift.” He explained.

Pockets of Success

While there is a certain degree of global slowdown, there is great hope coming from pockets of success – for instance the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 is enabling a lot of positive refresh in the technology domain and this is bringing positivity in the market.

“Inside these difficult environments, where the global economy is certainly slowing – there are some pockets of success – for instance, Japan has today become the hottest tech market. There has been a lot of activity. Next year we have the Tokyo Olympics, that’s creating a new energy and new excitement. Also there was a great decision by Corporate Japan to go for a Windows 10 Refresh. This has led to a lot of activity and replacement cycles,” he added.

Zia Askari from travelled to Taipei, Taiwan to cover Canalys Channels Forum 2019 on invitation from Canalys

Zia Askari
Zia Askari works as the Editor for and carries over 18 years of experience in technology writing, branding, communications and digital marketing. Over these years, Zia has worked with Cyber Media and Grey Head on the content side and RAD Data Communications, Huawei Telecommunications and Shyam Networks on the branding and marketing side.

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