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Tech CEO Views on Seven Hot Topics – From Territorialism and Tech for Social Good to AI and Millennials

Tech CEO Views on Seven Hot Topics


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The majority of technology CEOs surveyed globally (54 percent) believe that a “return to territorialism” is the greatest risk to their growth, according to a new report by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory services organization.

KPMG’s tech industry CEO outlook captures the perspectives of 104 tech CEOs globally on a range of key topics, among them, territorialism, growth, technology for social good, cyber and trust, artificial intelligence (AI), customer centricity and millennials. Read the report at:

On their top-line revenue growth outlook next three years

  • 3 percent say five percent or more 
  • 49 percent say between two percent and less than five percent
  • 48 percent say less than two percent

On their headcount growth outlook next three years

  • 42 percent say six to ten percent
  • 43 percent say less than five percent

“The rise of nationalism and affiliated global economic tensions are among factors bringing caution to revenue growth expectations. Still, nearly nine out of 10 tech CEOs remain confident in the growth prospects for their company,” said KPMG Global and U.S. Technology Sector Leader Tim Zanni. “Tech CEOs are focused on profitability and investing in technology and their people, as well as considering new business models.”

On technology for social good

  • 35 percent say they are struggling to link their growth strategy with a societal purpose for their company.

“There’s a growing expectation for tech leaders to link their strategies with technology for social good. It’s important that CEOs communicate a clear and consistent strategy about their organizations’ vision, and beliefs, and how their strategy is impacting their customers, employees and society at large,” said Zanni.

On customer data, cyber and the importance to growth and trust

  • 59 percent say protecting customers’ data is one of their most important responsibilities to enable their company to grow its customer base.
  • 49 percent say a strong cyber strategy is critical to engendering trust among key stakeholders. 
  • 45 percent say cyber security risk is the greatest threat to the growth of their business (second on the list behind territorialism).

“With the pervasiveness of technology and data, securing that data and protecting customer privacy are foundational to maintaining customer trust, market leadership, and regulatory compliance,” said KPMG Technology Industry Cyber Leader Vijay Jajoo,. “Companies are regularly reviewing their cyber security at the highest levels because the risk evolves as quickly as the technology.”

On AI, jobs and biggest benefit over next three years

  • 60 percent expect AI to produce a net increase in jobs in their company. 
  • 42 percent say improving customer experience will be biggest benefit AI provides their company.

“More companies are harnessing the powers of AI to augment human decisions. These technologies will allow their employees to focus on higher-value activities, serve customers more effectively and develop better products and services,” said KPMG Intelligent Automation Leader Cliff Justice.

On delivering personalized experiences to customers

Tech CEOs rated their company’s performance:

  • 24 percent exceeding
  • 53 percent say meeting expectations
  • 22 percent below expectations

On the biggest challenges in serving millennials

  • 53 percent say attracting millennials’ attention among competing online content. 
  • 44 percent say responding to millennials’ expectations for services on demand.
  • 43 percent say adapting their sales and distribution model.
  • 42 percent say repositioning their brand.
  • 40 percent say understanding how millennials’ needs differ from older customers.

"Nowhere is the power and potential of millennials more evident than in Asia Pacific, which is home to 58 percent of the world’s millennials. They research products and price. They don’t trust brands so much, but they do trust both their fellow consumers and what their key opinion leaders are saying,” said KPMG Hong Kong Head of Technology Anson Bailey.


KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at


Mike Alva
(415) 963-5426
Twitter: @michaelalva

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