Global CEOs tell PWC, digital transformation is turning every business into a tech business

The world is turning into the technology industry – or at least the business world is according to a new global survey of CEO’s by PWC

The study called the 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, finds “CEOs are coming to realize that no matter their industry, they must now think like technology companies.”

The trend is even more pronounced in Australia where business leaders hold the strongest belief among their leadership peers (91 per cent) that technology will be the biggest driver of transformation.


(Source: PWC)

But in reality it is a thoroughly global idea with US leaders (86 per cent) and those in the Asia Pacific (80 per cent) holding similar views.

There’s a problem though. Identifying the trend and acting on the evidence are two very different ideas and in Australia only 45 per cent of Australian CEOs report having  either recently completed a technology investment change program or currently having one under way.

Small wonder then that Gartner recently revealed that CIOs are feeling threatened and engulfed by a digital torrent. 

At least Aussie CEO’s can be grateful they don’t work in the US or the rest of Asia Pacific were the figures are even worse,  and where typically only a third have started the digital journey.

The report’s authors suggest that the CEO’s perspective on technology colors almost every aspect of their thinking including the creation of new business models, satisfying customer expectations, remaking their operating model, forging new alliances, and tackling talent challenges.

“Tech advances are eliminating barriers to entry and lowering distribution costs, leading new competitors to challenge—even upend—established players by offering customers value in new ways. Getting close to the customer and giving her a good experience has become table stakes in today’s environment, and CEOs know that they need to do more than that to keep their customers happy. “

Those sentiments were reflected in comments by Telstra CEO David Thodey, who was interviewed for the survey and who told PWC the leadership team at Australia’s biggest Telco was dedicated to changing the service paradigm. “We have had  an incredible focus on improving customer service because customers are at the heart of our business.”

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