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With the U.S. dealing with its own share of economic issues, it’s easy to forget that we’re not alone in this global economy. Other nations are dealing with the same uncertainty and forced to jump through similar hurdles. The supply chain is no different, and while the infrastructure here in the states could stand some improvements, countries in the midst of significant changes face major growing pains. One thing is for sure…while the resources may be available on paper, changing attitudes can often be a difficult and even insurmountable hurdle.

For example, India is a nation where growth can be severely limited by its infrastructure. According to a report by McKinsey & Co., India has $45 billion in losses annually because of inefficient logistics. That’s a staggering amount until you realize that those losses could more than double to $140 billion in the next decade. Right now, 57% of the country’s freight is done by roads, 36% by railways, 6% by waterways, and 1% by air. But, if it is to successfully expand and cut its losses, India will need to build out the rail and waterways system, shifting more than 45% of freight movement to rail. Will it happen? No one can know for sure, but it will take focus from the government and significant investment (more than $700 billion) to make it happen.

Spain has been battered by the economic downturn. And with more than 40 percent of jobs there in the service sector along with an impending need to reduce fixed costs, cloud computing would seem a natural fit. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the concept of cloud computing widely accepted. According to a recent article, the risk-averse culture of its citizens make the data and where it’s stored an issue, while the large public sector (one of the largest in Europe employing more than 3 million people), has been slow to make any changes in general. In fact, an overall resistance to change has hampered cloud computing adoption. It’s funny because these attributes may as well be describing the U.S. even though cloud computing has made significant strides over the past two years.

For all the talk about the “new normal”, the biggest hurdle is still the unwillingness to change. Both India and Spain understand what needs to be addressed to expand their economies, but unable to make it happen fast enough. Again, my intention isn’t to single out India and Spain because frankly, our country is more or less in the same situation. New normal requires new thinking, or at least, a revised approach. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, but at what expense?

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