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U.S. CEO Outlook 2017: Disrupt and Grow

U.S. CEO Outlook 2017: Disrupt and Grow


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KPMG’s U.S. CEO Outlook 2017 of 400 U.S. chief executives reveals rising confidence among chief executives about business prospects, the U.S. economy and the positive potential of disruption. Results show that most have a positive outlook on economic growth over the next three years, and possess far greater confidence in the United States and in their companies than last year.

An increasing number of CEOs are getting more comfortable with rapid, technology-driven change, appreciating the value of disruption and the vast potential that accompanies it. In fact, six out of 10 CEOs now view technology as an opportunity, not a threat.

Nearly three quarters of CEOs surveyed say they are actively pursuing disruption in their own sectors, rather than waiting for competitors to do it. That’s a marked contrast from a year ago when two-thirds of CEOs in our 2016 survey admitted concern that their organizations were not disrupting business models in their industry.

Key Findings:

CEOs confident, see opportunity amidst disruption

  • 46 percent are 'highly confident' about their growth prospects in the next three years, up from 32 percent in 2016
  • 72 percent say rather than waiting to be disrupted by competitors, their organizations are actively disrupting their own sectors; in 2016, two-thirds of CEOs were concerned their organizations were not disrupting business models in their industry
  • 60 percent see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than threat

Digital & sensory concerns

  • 57 percent say their organizations do not have the sensory capabilities and innovative processes to respond to rapid disruption
  • 61 percent are concerned about integrating cognitive processes and artificial intelligence
  • 45 percent say they are not leveraging digital as a means to connect to their customers effectively

Integrity of data questioned

  • 49 percent are concerned about the integrity of the data they base decisions on
  • 32 percent say the depth of their customer insight is hindered by a lack of quality customer data

Speed-to-market tops priorities

  • Improving speed-to-market, digitizing business, becoming more data-driven and building public trust are their top strategic priorities

Customer focus dims a bit

  • A stronger client focus ranked 10th in strategic priorities; in the 2016 study it ranked first
  • 48 percent say they have a growing responsibility to represent the best interests of their customers
  • 56 percent say that their organizations can confidently articulate how they create value for customers

Cybersecurity spend has its rewards

  • Three-quarters see investment in cybersecurity as an opportunity to find new revenue streams and innovate
  • CEOs expect significant investments in cyber, digital infrastructure, regulatory compliance and emerging technology over next three years

Trust, values and culture keys to future

  • 81 percent believe their organization is placing greater importance on trust, values and culture in order to sustain its long-term future
  • 69 percent say a culture of shorttermism has had a negative impact on long term strategic objectives

CEOs become more U.S.-centric

  • 92 percent view U.S. as top market for new growth; last year U.S. CEOs viewed India (44 percent) as top market for growth followed by U.S. (37 percent) and China (36 percent)
  • U.S. CEOs more confident than non-U.S. peers on global economy
  • To achieve growth, 44 percent of CEOs intend to increase penetration into existing markets
  • 54 percent are reassessing their global footprint

Recruiting budgets target cognitive, risk specialists

  • While overall hiring is expected to be lower, 80 percent of CEOs are increasing budgets for recruiting
  • A third of CEOs are 'significantly' increasing headcount because of impact of emerging technologies, especially in middle and senior management, R&D and HR
  • 77 percent recruiting new skills/specialists to help better understand geopolitical risks

Read KPMG's U.S. CEO Outlook 2017 for new CEO perspectives that indicate an uptick of positive trends emerging across a range of issues and industries.

For more information, download the full report below.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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