KPMG Survey of CEOs Shows Serious Issues with Digital Transformations

Survey of 400 CEOs uncovers some significant findings for new-gen usage of data and analytics, including the fact that half of them said they are concerned about the integrity of the data upon which they are basing their decisions.


Enterprises updating their IT to ride the growing trend called digital transformation are finding out more often than not that this is hardly a slam-dunk proposition.

These IT overhauls necessarily include the insertion of new analytics and/or machine-learning capabilities that help the enterprise figure out where it is in the current market, how it can become more cost efficient, and how it can leapfrog competitors by obtaining better analytical insight into what’s likely to happen in the future.

These new investments in capital, labor and new products and services are not trivial, companies are finding out. IT managers read about some of the early-mover success stories in publications like ours and others and wonder what it really takes to be mentioned in the same category.

Great IT isn’t easy, and users generally have no idea about all the planning, architecting, coding, testing, benchmarking and everything else that goes into producing a first-class IT system with apps that work, are secure and intuitive for employees to use on a daily basis.

Survey of 400 CEOs Explains a Lot

With this in mind, multi-purpose professional services firm KPMG on Aug. 21 released a survey of 400 US CEOs and uncovered some significant findings for new-gen usage of data and analytics. There are issues, specifically:

  • Forty-nine percent said they are concerned about the integrity of the data upon which they are basing their decisions.
  • Eighty-six percent said they increased investment in D&A in the last 12 months, with 35 percent saying they made a significant investment and launched a major new investment program in this area.
  • Sixty-one percent said they would make either incremental or significant investments in D&A tools in the next three years.
  • Thirty-two percent identified issues surrounding data as potentially the biggest technology-related challenge to their organizations in the next 3 years.
  • Becoming more data-driven was third in a long list of strategic priorities, moving up significantly in the rankings from 2016, when it was ranked 13th.

“Organizations are getting so much data and so many more types of data, such as from external sources, and in many cases these data are not governed by long relied-upon controls,” said Brad Fisher, KPMG partner and U.S. Leader of Data and Analytics. “It’s natural that nearly half of CEOs would express concern about relying on data they are not sure they can trust.”

“Organizations need to have transparency in the data science processes to better understand and rely on the analytics. Only then will executives have more confidence in their decision making using data and analytics.”

Other Issues

Other issues CEOs are facing:

  • Fifty-seven percent say their organizations do not have the sensory capabilities and innovative processes to respond to rapid disruption;
  • Sixty-one percent are concerned about integrating cognitive processes and artificial intelligence; and
  • Forty-five percent say they are not leveraging digital as a means to connect to their customers effectively.

 On the other hand, some of the more positive responses included:

  • Forty-six percent of CEOs are “highly confident” about their growth prospects in the next three years, up from 32 percent in 2016;
  • Seventy-two percent say rather than waiting to be disrupted by competitors, their organizations are actively disrupting their own sectors; in 2016, two-thirds of CEOs were concerned their organizations were not disrupting business models in their industry; and
  • Sixty percent see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than threat.

You can download the full report here (PDF format).

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...