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Developing a robust ecosystem with external partners is becoming a key driver for strategic development, digital transformation and innovation in many organisations.

With advanced technologies creating complexity, companies are no longer able to handle all aspects of transformation by themselves. The Nordic CEOs’ interest in collaboration and alliances is growing rapidly, becoming this year’s top growth strategy.

Which of the following strategies will be most important for achieving your organization’s growth objectives over the next years? – 2019 vs 2018:

Source: 2019 CEO Outlook, KPMG.

Today Nordic CEOs have a much bigger appetite for mergers and acquisitions than they did a year ago, and, consequently, less interest in relying on organic growth. Acquisitions of strategic niche companies help organisations add much needed talent, capabilities and customer base. Start-ups are invited to collaborate with other organisations’ innovation environments. The Nordic region has been, for a couple of years now, at peak levels of inbound and private equity-led acquisitions. Trailing right behind M&A activities is strategic alliances with third parties, with 26 percent of Nordic CEOs stating this as their main strategy for growth.

CEO Outlook

Choosing the right partner

Nordic CEOs are careful when choosing partners. They were significantly more likely to say they have reconsidered a third-party partnership that would have helped growth, but did not fit with their organisation’s culture and purpose (73 percent vs. 57 percent).

Strategic alliances boost innovation, reduce risk and are a powerful force that enables strategic execution and accelerated growth. For many companies, the collaboration model and ecosystems have become vital for the development of new products and services.

Rune Skjelvan
Partner and Head of Advisory
KPMG Norway

The KPMG ecosystem

With the acceleration of technology development and innovation, organisations need to have a team supporting and helping them keep up the pace. KPMG has developed strategic alliances that help us build tools and methodology – bringing an innovating approach, increased functional value and scalable deliveries to our customers. Analysts are highlighting our focus on collaboration and alliances as one of our biggest strengths.

Our strategic technology alliances with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM Watson, Amazon Web Services and Google allow us to offer cutting-edge technology and solutions to the market. Together we develop applications and platforms for data and analysis, artificial intelligence and intelligent automation, helping our customers transform their organisations. 


Download the full CEO Outlook Nordic Executive Summary