What will be vital to the success of the business after the pandemic?
See an IBM survey of 3,000 CEOs.
A recent global survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) among CEOs of companies worldwide reveals that the biggest challenge for many respondents over the next few years is workforce management in all areas.
Some of the top CEOs of companies with 20% revenue growth in the survey believe that talent, technology, and partners are most important for success after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Find Your Essential survey covers 3,000 CEOs in 26 industries and nearly 50 countries. It was conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics and drew on IBM’s more than 20 years of annual CEO surveys experience.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many leaders to rediscover and accelerate their digitization strategies,” said Georgi Ganev, Commercial Director, IBM.
Global CEOs surveyed said cloud technology, the Internet of Things, and robotic process automation (RPA) are the best technologies that will benefit their business over the next few years. According to CEOs of companies with lower results, putting technology at their companies’ heart is twice as much of a challenge. Managers of more successful organizations realize that it is essential to keep up with emerging technologies as they evolve and therefore need to change their use at the core of the business.
The “excellent” worldwide expect artificial intelligence to achieve results in the next two to three years. In contrast, twice as many of the surveyed CEOs of companies with lower performance do not share this opinion. IBM’s thesis is that the leaders of more successful companies can be ahead of their counterparts in implementing AI in their organizations. They place artificial intelligence at the heart of intelligent workflows, rather than just one-off or unrelated pilot projects.
Technologies built on hybrid cloud infrastructures, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and automation, can make critical business processes such as supply chain, finance, human resources, public procurement. It is more adaptable and intelligent, allowing greater efficiency and effectiveness in the ever-changing business environment and providing more real-time data across all business units.
IBM’s annual survey found that for most respondents, the introduction of telecommuting was a top priority in 2020. Half of the CEOs of the most successful companies believe that remote personnel management in any field will be the most critical challenge for leaders over the next few years. Comparison, only 25% of the companies with the lowest performance in the ranking for 20% revenue growth identify this as a priority.
Also, 77% of CEOs of better-performing companies say they will focus on employee well-being, even if it affects short-term business results. In comparison, this percentage for managers of companies with lower products is 39%. This shows that the surveyed leaders of top organizations at this time intensely focused on human resources.
A related global survey of IBM users shows that one in four employees says they plan to change employers in 2021, citing the need for a more flexible work schedule or location as the main reason for this.
CEOs of more successful companies also put more focus on partnerships, according to an IBV study. 63% of them say that alliances have become more critical for stimulating business performance. Only about half of the managers of under-represented companies say the same. Based on this study’s results, IBM’s thesis is that CEOs of leading companies reduce their focus on their strengths and rely on partners and ecosystems to access various ideas and opportunities for innovation.
Also, IBM notes that ecosystems can play a crucial role in fostering lasting change as many leaders.