Large companies around the globe have changed their business roadmap for the next few years. According to the report “CEO Outlook 2020: COVID-19”, the health crisis has driven the digitization process of companies since 80% of the CEOs consulted by KPMG assure that the transformation of their operating model has been accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Yes For 33% of those surveyed, the main obstacle to accelerating their digitization process is uncertainty on the operational scenarios in which its activity will develop in the future.
50% consider that the company they command is months ahead of expectations and another 30% point out that they are currently years ahead of what they expected before the pandemic. The president of KPMG in Spain, Hilario Albarracín, affirms that “in a scenario of uncertainty, CEOs are adopting the necessary measures for their companies to generate trust. In this process, the digital transformation has acquired a leading role, since it allows strengthening the company’s response capacity to disruptive events, guaranteeing the maintenance of the activity and the flow of communication with stakeholders ”.
The report is based on two surveys of CEOs of companies around the world with a turnover of more than 500 million dollars, before and after the pandemic. The first, which took place between January and February, was attended by 1,300 CEOs from 11 markets (Germany, Australia, Canada, China, Spain, the United States, France, India, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. The second took place between July and the beginning of August, and 315 CEOs from eight markets (Australia, Canada, China, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) responded.
When asked in this last round, with the economy still recovering after the confinement measures approved in many countries, 32% of managers lowered their growth expectations for the global economy in the long term compared to those they had at the beginning of the year, while 37% have kept them the same. It is surprising that when asked about the expectations of their companies, 67% are much more optimistic than in the previous survey, while 17% see it the same.
Among the novelties left by the Covid-19 crisis, the increased concern of top executives about the risks in talent management also appears prominently, which scales up to the main risk and generates uncertainty in 21% of respondents, up from 1% earlier this year. It is followed in the order of areas concerned with supply chain risks, mentioned by 18% compared to 2% in January and February, and the return to protectionism, which has dropped to third place from second in the previous poll.
Regarding the purpose of companies, 77% of CEOs indicate that it has helped them define the actions they should take to meet the needs of their stakeholders during the pandemic (employees, communities, customers, partners and investors) while that 79% feel more linked to their purpose than before the crisis. In fact, 79% of CEOs have redefined the purpose of their company in the wake of the pandemic in order to better serve the needs of their stakeholders. It is also striking that 39% of those surveyed state that their health or that of one of their family members has been affected by Covid-19.