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The CEO Briefing 2014 report analyzes the views of senior executives on prospects for the global economy and their companies, and defines how digital technology is transforming industries and changing the way business operates.
The corporate mood is on the upswing. Confidence is returning, with many leaders more optimistic about the outlook for their organizations and expressing bold ambitions for growth. Business leaders also understand the significant impact digital technologies will have on transforming their industry and the way they do business.
However, they may need to rebalance their digital business investments from improving internal efficiencies to better supporting their growth ambitions by developing products and reaching customers in new and innovative ways.
CEO Briefing 2014Explore our CEO Briefing 2014 as business leaders offer unique insights into the global outlook for 2014.View the Infographic
Read CEO Briefing 2014—The Global Agenda: Competing in a Digital World, an Accenture report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to get detailed insights into business leaders' views on the global outlook for 2014. The report is based on the findings of our survey of 1,041 C-suite executives across 20 countries and 12 industries during the last quarter of 2013.
Business leaders express escalating confidence in their prospects for 2014, despite risk factors in the global economy:
Optimism in the global economy is improving with confidence in local markets exceeding EIU forecasts, especially in the European Union (EU).
Business leaders have ambitious growth strategies, which target export markets with new products and services.
Global employment is likely to rise if businesses increase their workforce in line with expectations, but this could lead to competition for talent with high demand skills.
Competition from new market entrants, falling consumer demand and industry consolidation are cited as the main risk factors companies face.
Business leaders understand the impact digital technologies will have on transforming their industries but they may need to reconsider the focus of their investments in digital business.
The overwhelming majority C-suite executives expect digital technologies to drive significant change in their industry during 2014.
The primary focus for investment in digital business by the majority of companies is to improve internal costs and drive productivity gains.
Business leaders may need to place more emphasis on digital business investments related to their growth strategy of developing new products and services for new customers.
Difficulties managing change and skill shortages are the main barriers to implementing investments in digital business initiatives.
Download the report to read the CEO sentiments and EIU forecasts in detail.
Companies around the world expect a healthier global economy in 2014. In fact, executives are more bullish about the prospects for their own businesses than they are for the wider economy. This confidence is prompting thoughts of expansion, as many companies consider increasing their workforce and growing outside their home markets.
Business leaders must also balance their primary focus of using digital technologies—like data analytics and cloud computing—to help enhance internal efficiency, and use digital business strategies to create new ways of interacting with customers and accelerate the time from product design to market launch to support their growth ambitions.
However, as companies look to expand, they must address the increasing competition from new market entrants and industry consolidation. Companies will need to invest carefully to secure a share of the scarce market demand.
Executives will also need to invest more time and money on developing a more transparent culture—disclosing profits, business practices and ethical standards to customers.
Despite the optimism, we must remember that, just as there were pockets of growth during the downturn, there are specific market areas facing difficulties amid the positive outlook.
The CEO Briefing 2014 sends two clear signals. It's time to:
January 15, 2014
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