• Rethink - Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecoms

Rethink

At BDO we have framed our thinking for recovery around the Rethink model with three phases, React, Resilience and Realise.

How to best navigate a generational event?

The question remains central to continued efforts to mitigate challenges and grasp new opportunities.

Much has changed since the early parts of the pandemic. Today, the focus is increasingly on building out resilience and realising the potential in streamlining business operations, boosting innovation, increasing productivity, and enhancing employee wellbeing.  

Digital transformation initiatives play a central role as work from home, cloud infrastructure, and broad ecosystems of software solutions become the norm across industries. This also applies to technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) companies, which face a rapidly evolving marketplace.  

Navigating new legislation, expanding market opportunities, developing tax and auditory requirements, increasing competition and disruptive innovation are core competencies of BDO’s global network of experts.

We support companies in TMT and across all other industries with optimising outcomes and realising their full potential. It all builds on meeting companies, organisations, and people at eye height and starting with your unique situation.

People helping people is BDO’s purpose and foundation.

What Next?

As technological change accelerates us into a foggy future, it can be difficult to distinguish between short-term anomalies and longer-term trends.

Almost all agree that TMT is central to future-proofing and optimising operations. As a result, the TMT industries keep growing, as does M&A activity.

Private equity firms are among the most interested investors, and much of their dry powder will likely go toward further investments in the space.

TMT companies view outside capital as an attractive proposition in a time of increased competition and consolidation. However, identifying the best investors, how to structure a deal and ensuring optimal outcomes present novel challenges.

The same applies to core trends likely to define success for companies throughout TMT today – and in the years to come.

Accelerating digital transformation and legal frameworks

Thanks to innovative technology, companies and organisations have continued operations through COVID-19. Work-from-home initiatives and the palette of technological solutions that define our work, have, in many ways, improved business models - and our lives. Today, we can communicate, work, play, socialise, learn, and bank digitally to a previously nearly unthinkable degree.

Digital transformation has been a boon for many companies and organisations, especially early adopters. Their industry-leading performance indicates further investments are necessary to remain competitive.

Underpinning both existing and coming investments and solutions is increased use of data, including personally sensitive data.

Protecting said data is an area needing close attention going forward.

Regulators look to improve safety and privacy through updating rules and regulations. One often-mentioned example is the EU's GDPR regulations, but many other countries worldwide are taking similar measures.

Another area seeing legislative change is tax liabilities. 130 countries have agreed to adopt the OECD’s two-pillar framework for taxing the digital economy.

As a result, companies may want to re-evaluate data protection setups, business models, tax exposure and possible actions. Any moves need to address the complexities added by areas such as R&D tax credits, intellectual property regulation, etc.

Building out resiliency and sustainability

It is often not the strongest but the most adaptable that prospers.

Resilient business models enable people, processes, and information systems to adapt proactively to change.

Such moves should also be informed by a clear purpose, extending past clients and customers and encompassing societal issues.

The sense of purpose, along with sustainability and ESG, is becoming a must-have across all parts of companies’ life cycles, including M&A. Here, digital resiliency will likely supplement environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors relied upon by investors and society to measure the sustainability and societal impact of a business.

The most resilient and fundable companies will be those whose mission/values inspire a strong sense of purpose. This will include features such as:

  • Strong corporate vision underpinned by a core purpose
  • Ability to leverage automation across every component of the business
  • Robust remote-work technologies and digital infrastructure at scale
  • An inspired and empowered talent pool
  • Collaborative and flexible work environments
  • Strong innovation and R&D
  • Clear ESG goals and reporting standards

Companies likely to thrive will be those capable of attract qualified and motivated employees whose values align with their purpose, engage with collaborative business partners, and develop the most innovative products and services. In addition, they will be agile and able to adapt to new business conditions, as they inevitably arise.

Navigating a changing industry

As in all other industries, specific developments change the risk and market landscapes for TMT companies.

One example is the rise of ‘techno-nationalism', such as the re-nationalisation of chip manufacturing. Many nations are looking to increase their production, including the U.S. where the proposed CHIPS Act aims to make it a leading chip manufacturer once again.

Simultaneously, tech companies are delisting from foreign stock exchanges due to regulatory changes, including major Chinese tech companies leaving the NYSE. Furthermore, companies find themselves banned from certain markets or tasked with making fundamental changes to adhere to new regulatory rule sets during international expansion. The continued computer chip shortages and sudden shortages of materials due to geopolitical disruptions continue to play a huge role for companies and could lead to new techno-nationalistic moves.

Also increasing uncertainty is the ongoing pressures created by inflation and rising interest rates. Many management teams are unfamiliar with navigating such market conditions. One solution may be to liaise with advisors on updating strategies and operations to address developing trends.

Another area presenting increasing challenges to TMT companies is talent. Remote work has led many to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, changing the role and function of the office and adding financial complexities. For example, what counts as a taxable presence for corporate income purposes for a remote workforce? In addition, maintaining employee satisfaction, wellbeing, sense of belonging, and team productivity can be challenging.

Companies and organisations also find themselves locked in increased competition for professionals with desirable profiles in short supply.

Get to where you want to go

BDO has offices in over 160 countries and regions. We have on-the-ground experts standing by to assist you wherever you are – or want to be – active.

Our services include all aspects of company finance, strategy, and operations. Our global network of TMT-specific experts is ready to assist you to optimise outcomes and realise your full potential. Reach out to hear more about how we can help you with getting to where you want to go.

Please follow our BDO techandmediawatch blog for insights into significant industry trends.