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Next Three Years More Critical Than Past 50: CEO Survey

Aug. 12, 2016
“CEOs see new entrants disrupting their business models and acknowledge that they are not in a position to be a disruptor themselves,” said Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO of KPMG. 

With an unconventional presidential election ahead, not to mention lots of economic uncertainty and political unrest around the world, the majority—65 %--of U.S. CEOs believe that the next three years will be more critical for their industries than the past 50, a new survey finds.

Still, the 400 U.S. CEOs surveyed in the KPMG U.S. CEO Outlook 2016 report expressed a high degree of confidence over the longer term. In fact, 83% are confident about growth prospects for their companies in the next three years.

Yet underlying that optimism are many risks and concerns. Cybersecurity was designated the top risk, while 91% expressed concern about the impact of global economic forces on their businesses. Customer loyalty and keeping current with new technologies also are major concerns.

“CEOs see new entrants disrupting their business models and acknowledge that they are not in a position to be a disruptor themselves,” said Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO, KPMG LLP, in a statement.

Other Findings

86% are concerned about how to keep up with the differing wants and needs of millennials.

62% said are using disruptive technologies to improve their product and service offerings.

65% will be pursuing a collaborative growth strategy that includes external partnerships and alliances, a higher percentage than organic growth (61%) and inorganic growth (58%).

Only around 30% feel their organizations are highly capable of connecting in a beneficial way with startups, universities and other research institutes.

39% indicated that they are transforming their companies into significantly different entities in the next three years.

“Most transformational changes are outside of the core competencies of the average organization,” Doughtie said. “CEOs find themselves managing and monitoring incredibly complex ecosystems that extend far beyond the walls of their businesses.”

Confidence on U.S. Growth, Jobs

The majority of CEOs were confident about the economy and job growth over the next three years. Twenty-three percent are “very confident” about growth for the U.S. economy and 59% are “confident.”

The CEOs selected India as the country with the greatest potential for new growth, followed by the United States and China.

As to adding jobs, 54% anticipate hiring in the 6-10% range in the next three years, and 21% predict increases of more than 11%.

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