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Big4.com Interview: Ernst & Young’s Joe Steger

By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com

Hot on the heels of Ernst & Young releasing their latest Global Technology M&A update, Joe Steger, Global Technology Industry Transaction Advisory Services (TAS)Leader sat down to talk with Big4.com about the issues surrounding deal values and volumes for this all important segment of the economy.

The update centered on a number of noteworthy trends including deal volumes inching up, but perhaps more noticeably, the five long-term megatrends that aregenerating disruptive innovation both inside and outside the technology industry. Steger mentioned one area that stood out was the software to service (SaaS) arena.

Further Technology

“As we get toward a recovery,” he says, “you will see the use of technology to further innovate and increase productivity and one area where we can see that is in SaaSbecause there are some real productivity and cost benefits to going that route.”

Although any real big global technology M&A deals were sidelined by the economic uncertainty in 3Q, smart mobility and the mobile payment technologies wereanother area that held some promise to play a part in the global recovery process.

“The mobile payment technology side has been an interesting area for a number of players for a while now,” Steger said. “As smartphones become more ubiquitous, you’re going to want to see the abilities to pay for things with that device.”

Mobility for business and leisure

These smartphone technologies are tied to the larger smart mobility concept that Steger said continued to make deals in 3Q regardless of the macroeconomic slowdown. He stressed smart mobility also included tablet devices.

“Smart mobility really means any way that you can use mobility in your business or personal life,” he said.

Big data analytics, another one of the trends from the report, has so much unstructured information that one of the future challenges will be how to corral it all in. Steger mentioned some strides had already been made and noted one example was the ability to take engine data from Boeing jet engines with the hope of increased efficiency.

Long Term Outlook

Steger stressed the long term outlook for global technology M&A remains strong and there is a spreading strength to the ‘social mobile cloud’ and big data analytics. However, he was careful to point out that the current macroeconomic uncertainty will dampen the number of large technology deals in the near term, and any technological transformation does take time.

“If you think back to what the internet was like in 1998 or 1999 to what it’s like today, it’s unbelievably different,” he said. “So this whole cloud and SaaS and mobility phenomenon tied in with big data and social networking still has a long cycle to go.”

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