When it comes to digital innovation, the contrast between Europe and the rest of the world is stark. Snared between the innovative muscle of the U.S. and the steely determination of China, the continent’s digital ambitions need a refresh.
The makings are there: A groundswell of entrepreneurial activity is emerging across Europe, and young European digital natives are beginning to develop companies with the potential to compete on the global stage, making Europe a digital destination — rather than just a lovely place for a vacation.
The question is whether Europe can unify its haphazard and uneven landscape of digital activity and focus its currently fragmented digital firepower so that business leaders can adapt to ever-evolving consumer expectations and technologies. And, of course, Brexit poses a challenge whose ramifications cannot be underestimated.
To analyze these developments, Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work partnered with the UK government-backed start-up network TechNation to understand where this innovation is happening and where new forms of technology and work are catalyzing across the region.
Key findings of our research revealed that:
Europe’s digital ecosystem is innately human — it’s about people talking and connecting through a burgeoning network of meetups and start-ups. The region’s historical strengths — diversity, multiculturalism, ingenuity — underpin these ecosystems and are the watchwords for mastering the digital economy. In fact, this people-first approach could offer Europe’s political leaders a “third way” that balances the super-capitalist tendencies of the U.S. with China’s command-and-control mode. By doing so, Europe will be positioned to ride the wave of opportunities catalyzed by digital.
For the full report, read “Europe: Digital Superpower? Or Second-Rate Peripheral Player?” or visit us at Cognizant Center for the Future of Work.