strong global markets-croppedThe past couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing for financial markets, which continue to surge despite genuine global risks and uncertainties. From my perspective, the ability to move forward in the face of strong headwinds is a sure sign of long-term health and vitality.

The strong performance of major markets all over the world isn’t a fluke. It’s the result of a new kind of global economy that’s based on information technology. The levels of success we’re enjoying today aren’t based on luck. They are based on a firm foundation of digital transformation that began slowly in the 1970s, picked up momentum in the 1990s and is now moving ahead at full speed. I predict the trend will continue accelerating, creating more value and more wealth for decades to come.

As technology leaders, we understand what’s really driving the modern economy. We understand the incredible impact of technology on the broader culture. 

For example, we understand that when corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and American Express lead markets to new highs, their performance is actually a reflection of their superlative use of technology to satisfy and delight their customers at every touchpoint.

From my vantage point, Coca-Cola and American Express are technology companies. They leverage advanced digital technologies to understand their customers and to consistently deliver the best possible experiences across a wide portfolio of products and services. 

In my post last week, I predicted rising markets would create a better environment for investing in new technologies. This week, I’m doubling down on that prediction. I strongly believe we’ve crossed a threshold and entered a world in which the ability to use technology determines who wins and who loses.

Granted, concerns about the global economy and the impact of the U.S.-China trade war is causing some analysts to become cautious about enterprise tech spending in 2020, according to an article in Barron’s. 

“We are taking a more cautious view of enterprise spending and particularly large enterprise-exposed companies,” wrote analyst Rod Hall in Goldman’s report earlier this month as reported by Barron’s. “Our analysis suggests that there could be further declines in spending.”

But companies that pull back on technology investments put their competitive position at risk. In the 21st century, competition is no longer just about who has the best products or services. The winners are the organizations who understand precisely what their customers want and when they want it. 

That kind of understanding doesn’t happen by magic. It takes talent, expertise, skill and practice. It takes a strategic perspective on a rapidly evolving global economy. And it requires critical investments in the right technologies. That’s why I am confident that our industry has a brilliant future. Technology has truly become the bedrock of success. That’s become the new fundamental reality, and it isn’t likely to change soon.

This week’s earnings reports from bellwethers such as Microsoft, Tesla, JetBlue, TD Ameritrade and others are worth keeping a close eye on to see how they perform and how this may bode for enterprise tech spending in 2020. One thing is for certain: those companies that continue to make the right investments in enterprise tech stand to strengthen their competitive positioning and move their businesses forward regardless of what direction the economy takes.