A majority of CEOs in a variety of industries think the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years—with technology playing a key role, according to recent research from advisory firm KPMG. In fact, the forces creating this inflection point will be rapidly evolving technology and the speed of transformation it unleashes, according to the report.
Two-thirds of the 400 U.S.-based CEOs in 11 industries in March and April 2016 think the next three years will be more critical for their industry than the previous 50. While confident about growth prospects, CEOs think technological change will be one of the biggest factors impacting growth over the next three years, second only to economic factors.
CEOs think their organizations will need to develop incredible agility to stay ahead of the disruption caused by the “fourth industrial revolution: the proliferation of cyber-physical systems, machine learning, and the growing connections between everything with a sensor,” the report said.
This need for change is happening amid a slow and uncertain economy, geopolitical risks, and the ever-present threat that a new competitor could turn an established business model on its head overnight, the firm noted.
At the same time, CEOs have never before had so much information about how their customers use their products and services, where their companies operate effectively—and where they do not.
The ability to know how their products are used and where their services are needed at a highly granular level is already transforming many business processes and in some cases the entire make-up of the organization. About 40% of CEOs think they will be running a completely different entity in the next three years.