Boosting speed to market, fostering innovation and implementing disruptive technologies are the top three strategic priorities of global businesses. That is one of the findings of this year’s global, cross-sector survey of around 1,300 CEOs conducted by KPMG.
Greater speed to market
While fostering innovation within the company (2016: 21%, 2017: 23%) and implementing disruptive technologies in their own business model (2016: 18%, 2017: 21%) already topped CEOs’ agendas last year, a stronger customer focus (2016: 19%) was ousted this year by the quest for greater speed to market and cited by CEOs as the very top medium-term strategic priority for the next three years (2017: 27%). Since the last survey, businesses have apparently begun anticipating the needs and expectations of their customers and are now doing everything they can to position their products and services on the market as swiftly as possible. Speed to market is essential: 41% of companies fear losing market share to direct competitors in the future – and 48% expect new entrants and players that they have not previously considered competitors to revolutionize existing business models.
Innovation as a responsibility of leadership
Nearly one in two businesses considers technological innovation to be their industry’s greatest disruption (48%) in the medium term. Accordingly, these businesses are planning on making major investments in cognitive technologies (74%), the Internet of Things (77%) and data & analytics (86%) over the next 12 months. Awareness of the operational relevance of big data has been honed in many companies. As a result, more than four in five organizations are planning to step up investments in the acquisition and analysis of large volumes of data in the near future. This also goes hand in hand with efforts to better anticipate market developments and trends as well as customer needs. More than half of the CEOs surveyed (56%) make data-driven business decisions.
Implementation of new technologies
The organizations cited attracting new strategic talent (15%) and successfully integrating cognitive technologies into their own business models (14%) as their chief technology challenges in the near future. Since the use of new technologies calls for a level of expertise that is still scarce in many companies, they will have to invest quickly in additional training to boost the skills of their existing staff. Yet their medium-term goal for the next three years will be to recruit experts who are familiar with the new technologies and know how to efficiently exploit the potential they offer.