Ten years, 17 studies and 23,000 face-to-face executive interviews have given us rich insights into how private and public sector leaders think. “The Customer-activated Enterprise” is our first simultaneous study of the entire C-suite.
The IBM C-suite Study is a result of analysing our conversations with 4,183 leaders in 70 countries. We spoke with a cross-section of C-suite executives in more than 20 industries: Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs).
This Study offers insight into how these leaders view the world, their priorities and how they are preparing for the future. Three major themes emerged. Today’s C-suite must:
In an era of abundant connectivity, endless information and ubiquitous digitisation, the new economic equation favors transparency. More than half of CxOs expect to open up their enterprises – bringing down barriers to extend collaboration inside and outside. Their most radical shift may be a new view on what it means to collaborate with customers.
In fact, CEOs told us that customers come second only to the C-suite in terms of the strategic influence they wield. When asked, “Who has the most influence on your strategic vision and business strategy?” 55 percent of interviewed CEOs cited customers.
The emergence of social, mobile and digital networks has played a big part in democratising the relationship between organisations and their customers. It’s also forcing them to rethink how they work. The intersection between the digital and physical is the leading edge of innovation, and CxOs realize it is becoming increasingly important to meld the two dimensions.
CMOs, in particular, want to overhaul every aspect of the customer interface. When asked, “To what extent have you activated the following digital strategy components in your organization?” 87 percent of interviewed CMOs expect to focus on integration of cross-channel touchpoints in three to five years.
As the digital infuses the physical, and vice versa, organisations are transforming the customer experience. Nearly seven in ten CxOs recognize the new imperative – a shift to social and digital interaction. CxOs plan to spend less personal time on IT systems, operations and other such issues, and more time on improving the customer experience.
CxOs intend to use digital channels much more extensively to engage with customers in the future. When asked which channels are most important for their enterprises to engage and interact with customers, interviewed CxOs expect the greatest increase (69 percent) to occur in the use of digital channels in three to five years.
How IBM can help C-suite executives
Executive role perspectives
Reinventing the rules of engagement: CEO insights from the Global C-suite Study
This CEO point of view report delves into the perspectives of the 884 CEOs we interviewed during the IBM Global C-suite Study. Since 2004, CEOs consistently identified market forces as the biggest driver of change. In 2012, for the first time, CEOs expected technology to exert the strongest influence on their organisations and strategy.
And this year, CEOs again ranked technology first. Believing the impact of emerging technologies on their organisations will be profound, CEOs anticipate three areas for action:
Moving from the back office to the front lines: CIO insights from the Global C-suite Study
In this CIO point of view report, we explore what the 1,656 CIOs we interviewed are doing to help their enterprises become more “customer-activated.” One thing is immediately obvious: just how far some CIOs have come in the past five years. In 2009, we reported that CIOs were rising up the management hierarchy and developing a new, more powerful voice. But they often had to juggle different roles to deal with conflicting goals.
Although CIOs are acutely aware of the need to make their enterprises more customer-activated, they’re also conscious of how important it is to keep everything running smoothly. For CIOs, three specific issues are top of mind. They must:
C-suite Study video: Hear from a CIO
Coming in January: Chief Financial Officer POV
Bookmark this page to read what CFOs shared with us
Coming in January: Chief Marketing Officer POV
Bookmark this page to read what CMOs shared with us
Coming in February: Chief Human Resource Officer POV
Bookmark this page to read what CHROs shared with us
Coming in February: Chief Supply Chain Officer POV
Bookmark this page to read what CSCOs shared with us
Our most recent individual C-suite Studies
IBM Global CEO Study: Leading through Connections
IBM Global CMO Study: From Stretched to Strengthened
IBM Global CIO Study: The Essential CIO
IBM Global CFO Study: The New Value Integrator
IBM Global CHRO Study: Working Beyond Borders
IBM Global CSCO Study: The Smarter Supply Chain of the future
“ As customers gain more power over the business via social media, their expectations keep rising and their tolerance keeps decreasing. ”
CIO, Retail, Turkey
“ We need to collaborate and create a transparent supply chain, instead of thinking that knowledge is power and that we can be the superheroes who save the day. ”
CSCO, Information Technology, United States
“ Big data is the buzz and digital is now the new normal. We need to change the way we work with our clients in this continuous virtual cycle. ”
CMO, Banking, Singapore