Recent economic data have shown cracks forming in the U.S. economy. Many are concerned that it is threatening to bring an end to the longest economic expansion in history, but now is the time for digital transformation, according to Siemens U.S. CEO Barbara Humpton.
Humpton argued that while the economy has shown signs of slowing down, technology and skilled workers are the solutions for American corporations. “We are all concerned about the indicators that we are seeing in manufacturing. We understand the geopolitical factors at work right now, [but] there has not been a better time to use this for transformation,” Humpton said during a panel discussion at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in New York City Thursday.
Joe Ucuzoglu, Deloitte U.S. CEO, also on the panel, added that the data has been clear, but he doesn’t think that means trouble ahead anytime soon. “The data are clear — in the manufacturing sector you do see a slowdown,” Ucuzoglu told Yahoo Finance. “We’re not going to try to predict the business cycle, [but] medium and long-term outlook is very, very bullish. We still see productivity growth.”
Both Humpton and Ucuzoglu agree that technological advancements and qualified employees could unlock significant growth for their respective companies.
“First of all, what we’re finding is there’s a real richness in bringing together multi-generational teams,” Humpton explained. “Think about 40% more power for Egypt, 14.4 gigawatts of power generation built in a 27 month period. You don’t get into that work with a bunch of new folks. You need the folks with 30 years of experience. But combining [those generations], that’s where the richness comes from.”
Ucuzoglu echoed Humpton’s views. “What you’re seeing is an evolution. Every job has the requirement of some level of what we call tech savviness. At the end of the day, if you have great people who have a desire to learn who are agile, leave the rest to us.”
The complete interview follows:
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
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