Some people hate change. For others, a change is as good as a rest.

Whatever your view, if your business operates in Europe then change is something you will have to get used to. In fact, more than three-quarters of European companies expect to fundamentally change their business model within the next three years. This staggering figure can be found in data collected in connection with a report recently released by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), “Winning in a Business 4.0 World”.  

How to adapt to the challenges and opportunities of digital technology is a question high on the agenda of every boardroom across the continent. Whether change is driven by demand from customers, or responding to competitive threats, the answers to that question will determine the success not just of enterprises, but of Europe’s economy as a whole.

That is why TCS is proud to be a partner of the European Business Summit in Brussels on 6 and 7 May. Corporate leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs and policy-makers will address the key issues facing European businesses and societies. What needs to be done to foster innovation? How will clean technologies and artificial intelligence transform Europe? What kind of leaders will be needed to drive the changes that are necessary?

The theme – Tomorrow’s Europe: Inclusive, Innovative, Interconnected – emphasises that successful solutions will be as a result of collaboration and cooperation: between private enterprise, governments, regulators and other stakeholders.

Most European businesses are optimistic about transformation. More than half have experienced growth of 5% or more over the past three years. Three-quarters expect to grow by the same amount over the next three years.

Transformation will not be easy for everyone. European businesses tend to be more risk averse than their counterparts across the world. Sensitivities around privacy and security are a significant factor, likely as a result both of tightening regulations and increased awareness among consumers and business customers. Many companies also cite traditional corporate cultures as an obstacle to embracing risk.

On the other hand, European businesses are more likely than their global peers to be driven to change by a desire to improve customer service. Engagement with customers is a leading business priority for many companies, so demand from consumers may force many out of their comfort zone.

This year’s European Business Summit comes as Europe is at a crossroads. The stakes are high, but there is every reason to be optimistic that, working together, it can choose the right path.