In conjunction with the University of California at Irvine’s Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations, the authors surveyed 10 countries in developed and developing regions to determine how Internet and technology usage varied. They found that of the two groups, firms in emerging economies are actually more advanced in several aspects of Internet usage. Established companies in developed countries, the researchers found, used the Internet chiefly to advertise and to automate transactions; companies in emerging economies were far more adept at using the Internet to build their strategic frameworks and work with foreign partners. For example, by creating virtual partnerships, these firms extended the reach of their product development, project management, and customer service operations, all while retaining the relatively low operational costs of their home nations.
Firms everywhere can learn much from companies in developing economies that are leveraging the Internet to increase competitiveness and develop strategic partnerships globally.