Now in its 22nd year, the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2020 is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, with over 4,200 responses from CIOs and technology executives across 83 countries, including 125 from the asset management sector.

Even before the pandemic, the asset management industry was grappling with the need to evolve and transform their business and operating models amid declining margins, rising cost of regulatory compliance and tax reporting and increasing customer demand. Responsible, values-driven investment has also become key to the strategic agenda with delivery through digital customer platforms. It is therefore not a surprise that the top two priorities for asset management digital leaders are improving operational efficiency and improving customer engagement.

Looking towards economic recovery paths, 38 percent expect to ‘transform to re-emerge’ with operating models stronger and more in line with consumer priorities, and another 38 percent expect to ‘scale’, sensing their potential to lead and provide capital to scale aggressively during recovery.


  1. Top IT investment areas – Security and privacy, customer experience and engagement, and Infrastructure/cloud head the list. Asset managers expect to increase their use of managed services (68 percent) and automation (62 percent) across the enterprise.

  2. Skills shortages – Cyber security professionals are most in demand, followed by those skilled in Artificial intelligence and Intelligent automation. On a positive note, 50 percent of asset management organizations believe COVID-19 has created a culture of inclusivity in the technology team.

  3. Cyber security is an increasing focus – Over a third (39 percent) of asset management organizations have experienced an increase in cyber incidents due to remote working, with spear phishing and malware attacks topping the list.

  4. Leveraging data for insights – In order to develop differentiated and personalized products that truly meet customer needs, asset managers’ top priorities are scaling their data analytics skills, and increasing their data literacy.

  5. Digital leaders are delivering value faster – Leader organizations are pivoting and scaling digital channels to meet customer demands more effectively than their counterparts, collecting more valuable data and carrying out more large-scale implementations of emerging technologies such as cloud and AI.

Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2020: Everything changed. Or did it?

Now in its 22nd year, the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2020 is the largest IT leadership survey in the world, with over 4,200 responses from CIOs and technology executives across 83 countries.This year’s report references both pre-COVID-19 findings as well as during COVID-19 responses. Together they give us a unique insight into the before, during, and continuing aftermath of the pandemic.There is no doubting the pandemic’s dramatic effect on almost every aspect of business and life. The pandemic exposed a growing digital divide, shifted some priorities, and amplified many of the challenges that the IT organization faced prior to COVID-19. However, fundamentals also remain, such as the top two priorities for boards: 1) improving operational efficiency; and 2) improving customer engagement – both long-standing priorities of the technology leader.Some entered the pandemic better positioned to pivot and scale into new opportunities. In our special report IT in the New Reality (PDF 109.8 KB), we share four models of economic recovery patterns. While recovery will be unique to each sector, country, and company – common to all is the urgency to act decisively. Key findings from the survey include:•Additional IT budget – Global IT leaders reported a median additional spend of 5 percent of IT budget to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.•Increased cyber-security threats – more than four in ten (41 percent) of organizations have experienced increased incidents mainly from spear phishing and malware attacks.•Skill shortages, even in a pandemic – for the first time in this survey’s history, cyber-security expertise has become the most in-demand skill set, especially in the cloud and data security space.•A massive surge in remote working – 43 percent of our respondents have moved their workforce to remote working, and one quarter of technology leaders expect over half their staff to remain working predominantly from home.•Technology investments – al

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Asset Management will be a technology-driven industry, and will be critical in helping shape a new economy based on sustainable business.

Andrew Weir
Global Head of Asset Management and Real Estate,
Regional Senior Partner and Vice Chair, KPMG China

What now?

With the increase in digital channels made available to customers and investors in response to the pandemic, asset managers are focusing their attention to transform the front, middle and back office to create a fully integrated digital platform ready for the long-term.

How KPMG can help

KPMG firms are some of the largest providers of services to asset management organizations globally, we take a boutique approach to client issues with a focus on flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. We recognize that there are many on-ramps to supporting IT transformation and we’ve tailored our services accordingly:

Transform business, run business, mordernize and protect



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