we are living in a chaotic transition period to a new age defined by global competition, rampant change, faster flow of information and communication, increasing and pervasive business complexity. Another world that normally follows to this list is: globalization.
Information is getting finally available around the globe at an unprecedented pace. Customers, competitors, and innovators have instant access to each other. Technological change, especially change in information and communication technology, delivered the Information Age and converted it to the knowledge Age.
Customer power surged as the result of a convergence of several long-developing trends. First of all, product and service scarcity gave way to abundance. A basic reason for this is that advancing technology has dramatically increased manufacturing productivity and thereby reduced costs of entry to and expansion of many industries. "Globalization led to more companies pursuing the same customers. At the same time, customers have become more sophisticated and informed buyers. Information technology enabled them to find and analyze competing products and to make intelligent choices. Customers discovered they had options and the power to exploit them. Customers now aggressively seek alternatives, compare offers, and hold out for the best option". Further, many products became virtual commodities and rapid changes in technology have dramatically shortened product life cycles. The result is a lot of similar offerings that make it very difficult for you to differentiate yourself from your competitors; this further empowers your customers. In combination, these phenomena transformed supplier-dominated economies into ones ruled by customers.
Dramatic changes in competition, technology, and workforce values are causing organizations to search for new and more human ways of increasing productivity and competitiveness. The biggest changes have been due to the impact of information and communication technology. The ability to access vast information resources within a matter of minutes and to communicate across huge distances at ever lower costs and improving quality and convenience is transforming the way people and companies interact
Globalization is not new, but today it's more rapid and pervasive. Distance is becoming a shrinking barrier. Markets are globalizing rapidly, as are the companies that compete in them. Considerable share of sales of companies come from outside the headquarters country. Geographic proximity is no longer essential for people for working together. The world trade economy is growing at more than five times the rate of world gross domestic product.
Nowadays, competition is based more on capabilities much more than assets. New competitive dynamics led to greater instability in the profitability of companies. New products, services, and competitors are emerging with blinding speed. Competitive pressure has been intensifying and it is becoming harder to achieve market leadership and to stay on top.