Nearly half of all CEOs asked in a new KPMG survey said they do not expect a return to pre-pandemic levels of normalcy until sometime in 2022. Only 31% of those asked said they expect a reversion this year. The KPMG survey was conducted between February and March and includes 500 CEOs discussing their anticipated three-year arc.
Further, notes the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, 24% of those asked said they believe their business model has changed forever as a result of the pandemic.
“Our research shows that some executives have taken strong measures during the crisis to transform their operating model and ways of working, accelerating the rollout of key transformational projects, some by choice, some out of necessity,” said Bill Thomas, global chairman and CEO, KPMG International, in a statement. “The pandemic has also been a catalyst for CEOs to evaluate the role their companies play in society. Many have given voice to issues they may not have previously commented on publicly—from tackling climate change to supporting the diverse communities they operate in—and we need to keep hearing those voices. There is much more to be done.”
The survey notes that nearly three-quarters of the business leaders included said digitalization and next-generation modeling have “accelerated by a matter of months.” Many leaders (69%) also reported accelerating new models and revenue streams and 56% said they were looking to increase developments toward a “seamless digital customer experience.”
“Though the pandemic prompted many organizations to rethink their existing strategies, it only served to intensify business leaders’ commitment to digitization,” according to KPMG. “In fact, as companies move from crisis mode and attempt to normalize operations, CEOs are shifting their focus to cyber security issues and differentiating themselves through their digital connectivity with customers.”
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The survey also notes that CEOs are planning to increase spending on digital tech this year, and more than half of them will be prioritizing data security measures. Half of the CEOs questioned said that, going forward, they expect to focus on “customer-centric” technologies; nearly half committed to utilizing digital communication technology like video conferencing.
Increased digitalization in the banking space has been one notable circumstance of the pandemic, as many turned to remote options during prolonged lockdown. Recently, PYMNTS released a ranking of the top digital banking apps based on “Channel coverage, up-to-date downloads, monthly average users, sessions per user and average session length.”
According to the PYMNTS Provider Ranking: “Still ringing at No. 1 is the Chime app, whose early talks with investors about a new stock market offering could value the startup at over $30 billion, with Nubank solid at No. 2 and self-described ‘financial super app’ Revolut at No. 3. Challenger bank and app Current stays put at No. 4 and, seeming to like the view from No. 5, it’s the Monzo app, whose U.S. expansion is generating headlines as it draws closer.”
Interestingly, 61% of the business leaders in the KPMG survey said they expect to engage in M&A over the next three years to acquire the technologies necessary to transform their value propositions and customer experiences.