Going global is a matter of 'how' and 'where' rather than 'if' for technology companies hoping to flourish in the next century, according to a worldwide-manufacturing survey. The survey by Deloitte & Touche and Deloitte Consulting found that the high-technology industry was in the midst of a critical transition, with domestic market protection waning and size alone no longer a guarantee of survival. Consequently, seeking new markets was a necessity, according to the survey's findings. Companies most successful at making their operations global were those that had embraced Internet technology to penetrate other markets, the survey said. Significantly, such companies were also capturing a great share of their own domestic markets, it said, while where to target their attention and how to achieve growth were the challenges for the future. The survey found that emerging markets, requiring joint-venture partnerships with local companies, offered the most-promising prospects for growth. It also said players in different regions had distinct global strategies. Asia-Pacific and European high-technology companies, for example, viewed globalisation as a means of achieving low-cost production. But North American companies expanded their operations primarily to create a strong global presences through a strong decentralised organisations. While big multi-national players had advantages for globalisation, survey found the market would also suit smaller, more nimble companies able to alter operational strategies rapidly. But in order to be successful, such companies had to identify their core expertise, out-source other operations and form strategic alliances, it said. Continuous new product development was also found to be increasingly crucial for high-technology manufacturers as they sought to serve their customers better. The survey found that competitive priorities had changed markedly in the last three years. It said companies in the Asia-Pacific region put fast complaint handling, on-time delivery and a fast response to clients at the top of the list. Three years ago, the same survey found that product conformity and reliability as their priorities. 'Often hindered by the need to reach decision by consensus, Asia-Pacific executives realise the importance of responding more quickly,' the survey said.