How to Approach Digital Global Expansion

January 17, 2017
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By Chris Davis, published on CIO Insight

9-12-16

The world is a big place, and despite what you, as an IT leader, think you know about the international digital heavy weights’ control of the market, there is still a lot of runway for your company to make its mark.

The first encouraging point that your digital future is not yet written comes from Dr. Peter Diamandis’ book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, in which he estimates that by 2020, 3-5 billion new consumers will come online, adding tens of trillions of dollars to the global economy.

The second point can be found in the awe-inspiring data that Internetworldstats.com publishes on the 20 major world economies. For example, 50% of the world’s internet users are in Asia, but the 2.3 billion people in Asia that don’t yet have internet access constitute 31% of the total world population. This constitutes a huge future opportunity for businesses  you should be planning for it now. Whether your company currently has an international presence or not, this is where your company’s growth will come from over the next 20 years, and you will want to lay the groundwork before your competitors establish a foothold.

But let’s not oversimplify. The Asia market is multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and comes with digital (double-byte characters), political (Google being blocked) and competitive (Uber selling to Didi) challenges. A “one size fits all” approach didn’t work for Walmart the first go-around, and it is taking a new look at how it re-establishes its presence in China. To compete in the modern marketplace—where digital is or will be the medium of choice for commerce—all companies need to invest heavily in designing their global-local digital strategy.

Dipping your toe in the water won’t be enough.

Click here to read the full article on CIO Insight

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