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Operating in a disrupted world: Telecom CEO Outlook 2018

Operating in a disrupted world: Telecom CEO Outlook

Telecom CEOs are nearly unanimous in seeing disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat.


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KPMG’s 2018 U.S. Telecom CEO Outlook provides insights from 82 telecom industry CEOs in the United States  and focuses on key areas including growth strategy, innovation and disruption, mergers and acquisitions, digital workforce, and customer experience. Findings include:            

  • Telecom CEOs are optimistic about revenue growth, with expectations their companies will outpace the broader telecom sector, as well as the U.S. and global economies. This optimism, however, may be short-lived. U.S. CEOs indicate growth may be harder to achieve over the next three years.
  • Among Telecom CEOs, talent challenges, cybersecurity operational risk, emerging and disruptive technologies, and a return to territorialism were cited as the leading threats to their growth
  • Telecom CEOs are nearly unanimous in seeing the resulting disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat. Despite marketplace uncertainty, Telecom CEOs understand that changes in technology and
    customer demands are opening product and service opportunities related to IoT, Smart City, Connected Home, 5G to the Home, security services, and other offerings.
  • M&A appetite remains strong among Telecom CEOs, with 75 percent indicating they have a high to moderate appetite for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over the next three years. CEOs are optimistic the climate for deals will remain favorable, continuing strong M&A demand in the U.S. in recent years.
  • As they invest in transformation efforts to refine their organizations, Telecom CEOs are optimizing their workforces to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
  • Consumers are demanding more from their service providers and demonstrating a higher willingness to switch if their expectations are not met. In this environment, Telecom companies are developing customized experiences with a high degree of personalization in key aspects such as service and content offerings. 

Telecom CEOs retain an optimistic view of their companies’ growth prospects, driven by favorable economic conditions and attractive new technologies. Innovation and market turbulence are nothing new for Telecom companies, and CEOs remain confident about their ability to respond to, and even drive, industry disruption.


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