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Consultants at WEF.

World Economic Forum 2012

Davos: Mick Jagger may have stayed away but senior consultants were out in force to rub shoulders with each other at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos last week.

Below is a round up of their contributions at the summit.

Deloitte and cyber security.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) member firms played an integral role in the World Economic Forum's development of a common set of shared principles for cyber security and resilience last week.

Deloitte acted as project adviser to the Forum's initiative, Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World: Principles and Guidelines. The principles aim to provide global organisations with a common standard for cyber security and resilience. Developed throughout 2011, the initiative seeks to shift the mindsets of international leaders from only securing perimeters to include a focus on interdependence and resilience.

'Increasing dependence on connectivity for everyday activities is fast turning cyber security into one of the single most important threats faced by businesses and governments alike,' said Jolyon Barker, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Global Leader, DTTL. 'We are delighted to be a part of this initiative led by the Forum, as it underscores Deloitte member firms' commitment to leading the discourse on establishing principles designed to provide organizations with a model for organizational cyber resilience. The widespread adoption of these principles is likely to raise business standards and contribute to the shared goals of economic stability and prosperity.'

'Cyber security is an issue that no one organization can resolve by itself,' said Alan Marcus, Senior Director, Head of IT and Telecom Industries for the World Economic Forum USA. 'A multi stakeholder approach must be taken. As such, we developed these principles, which are aimed at all organizations, regardless of industry, sector, jurisdiction, geography, or even level of expertise. We thank Deloitte member firms for their advisory role in the project.'

To read the full report, go here.

McKinsey & Co address supply and demand.

More than 40 million people are unemployed in developed economies alone, according to McKinsey & Company.

The firm's view is that the jobs crisis in the developed world is not a product of recession alone, and will not be solved simply by restoring economic growth. Growth is necessary and desirable. But in many countries, the historical link between growth and job creation was weakening before the current downturn began.

Moreover, high job vacancy rates in some regions and industries suggest that labor markets are also failing to match supply and demand for skilled workers. While the causes of unemployment vary from country to country, any holistic approach to creating jobs and economic opportunity must address both the demand and the supply side of the jobs equation.

McKinsey is convening leaders from the public, private, and social sectors to explore this pressing issue all week.

KPMG and social media at WEF.

The spread of social media at WEF 2012, in particular the use of Twitter, has extended the dialogue beyond the meeting rooms and corridors of Davos to the global community, KPMG says.

  • On day one, 459 delegates generated 4,436 tweets with 8,021 replies and 18,718 retweets. The top trending topics were 'Angela Merkel', 'Europe' and 'People' relating to #Davos.
  • On day two, 440 delegates generated 3,312 tweets with 4,816 replies and 14, 302 retweets. The top trending topics were 'David Cameron', 'Africa' and 'Social'.

"Commentary via social media has really taken off at--and beyond--Davos this year. It is no longer the preserve of economic experts or political figures, but rather, anyone with an opinion is able to share it with a global audience," said Adam Bates, Global Head of Innovation at KPMG (@AdamBates_KPMG).

"Not so long ago, the debates were the preserve of the few and most of us had to wait to hear about them. With the innovative use of social media it is possible to be in Davos without actually being there--meaning business and individuals alike have a chance to air their views on the issues that matter."

There is a link to KPMG's WEFLIVE service at the bottom of this page.

Boston Consulting Group and growth.

As WEF 2012 delves into "The Great Transformation: Taking Decisive Action in an Era of Extreme Uncertainty," BCG shared insights on growth during a period of unprecedented debt; the increasing importance of adaptability and flexibility in leadership teams; the struggle to define and embrace sustainability; and the manner in which technology is driving society, challenging even the most successful businesses on a daily basis.

"Never before have corporate leaders faced such a convergence of major social, political, and economic changes. This truly is the age of the Great Transformation--and it presents today's managers with a once-in-a-generation test of leadership," said BCG president and CEO Hans-Paul Bürkner.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, given the daily drip-drip-drip of depressing economic news, many business leaders in developed markets are focused on the macroeconomic uncertainty. But it would be a major mistake to hunker down, keep ambitions in check, and try to preserve the status quo. Yet the new reality is that the world has become highly unpredictable, and companies must understand the cost of passivity. If the risks are great, the opportunities are greater," he added.

PwC and cyber risk.

As the World Economic Forum revealed cyber as a top-five global risk in terms of likelihood and potential impact over the next 10 years in its report Global Risks 2012, PwC illustrated just what a cyber attack means for businesses in a mocked up boardroom scenario session at Davos, chaired by PwC chairman Ian Powell.

Ian Powell, PwC chairman, said, "The alarming growth in cyber crime highlights the challenge that all global business leaders face. Although they might be aware of the threat they are not necessarily equipped to respond effectively, so it's important to discuss the issues at a platform like Davos. After all, cyber is a global risk that knows no boundaries."

Accenture and emerging economies.

A majority of global business leaders say their companies are looking to high growth emerging economies to fuel their next stage of growth, but do not believe they have the necessary capabilities to compete in these markets, finds a new Accenture study, published at Davos. According to a survey of 588 business leaders in 85 countries, 80 percent say their company's primary focus for growth is on emerging economies, but 73 percent believe they must accelerate their efforts to build sufficient market share in these high-growth markets, or may, in fact, be too late to do so.

The survey, published in an Accenture report: Fast Forward to Growth: Seizing opportunities in high-growth markets, found that 40 percent of executives say they lack a strategy or the operational capabilities to take advantage of opportunities in their target high-growth markets and 57 percent believe their company will have to "reassess" or "fundamentally rethink" the approaches and capabilities they need to compete in these markets. The data reveals no significant difference between companies from mature and emerging markets when it comes to preparedness for building market share in these geographies.

"There is a tendency for companies to hesitate in prioritizing investments in new markets and even a preference to retrench or withdraw from some locations until the global economic environment becomes clearer," said Mark Spelman, managing director, Strategy, Accenture.

"Many companies are holding healthy cash reserves that could be used to expand, and our research identifies countries with high growth consumer markets that could represent significant opportunities. Yet companies continue to hesitate, which could be one of the greatest risks in today's competitive environment. The first step is getting to know new markets better."

KPMG's social media services.

A single, unified view of the social media conversations from delegates of WEF will give businesses, non-governmental organizations, politicians, journalists, academicians and social entrepreneurs an easy way to follow insights and join conversations shaping the global agenda in Davos.

The aggregated online service, HERE, presented by KPMG International exclusively for the WEF, will distill in real-time the conversations from delegates who are using Twitter to share their views. Anyone with internet access via their computer, tablet or smart phone can follow the conversations — it is simple and quite brilliant!

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