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TheStreet Open House

Hackett Key Issues Study: As Volatility Becomes The Status Quo Understanding Regional Differences On A Global Basis Is Key

In 2012, many large companies expect to face significant challenges dealing with the increased volatility and elements of the "New Normal," according to new key issues research from The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCKT). The study found that companies are heavily focused on improving accuracy and timeliness of information to enable improved decision-making, and on leveraging global standards, resources, and organizational models as they struggle to "do more with less."

The Hackett Group's research also recommended that companies be prepared to adapt their business models and priorities in response to economic changes in regional global markets. This will require companies to fully understand the benefit that comes from adopting global standards and organizational models that allow optimal execution by leveraging both skill and scale more broadly. But the increased volatility in demand across global regions has also made it more critical than ever for companies to truly understand how each region should operate while still gaining the advantages that comes from a global process operating platform.

The Hackett Group's Research Insight, "2012 Key Issues Agenda: The 'New Normal' Has Become the 'Now Normal'" finds that CEOs and others are acknowledging that the "New Normal" has been largely accepted as the status quo. Increased volatility and uncertainty in demand, cost of raw materials and energy, and availability of talent show no signs of abating. Nearly one in five companies in The Hackett Group's study expect to see 25 percent or more volatility in these areas over the next two to three years.

Other elements of the "Now Normal" are also now quickly becoming standard operating procedure. Revenue growth and improved operating margins remains a priority, and the predominant opportunities for revenue growth lies in emerging markets outside of Europe and North America. The International Monetary Fund estimates that 61 percent of global GDP growth in 2012 will come from Brazil, Russia, India and China. Geographic barriers to doing business have been dramatically reduced, making globalization both the principal opportunity and threat to most organizations. Finally, technology and data integration are acting as both enablers and accelerants of disruptions of existing business operating models as well as within business services.

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