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Are You Ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?


If your CEO seems a bit distracted these days, give a benefit of a doubt: Today’s corporate leaders have a lot on their minds, according to KPMG’s most recent U.S. CEO Outlook survey. The accompanying report, titled “Now or Never: CEOs Mobilize for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” indicates that most CEOs consider the next three years as extremely critical for their company—more so than the last 50 years, in fact. In light of this, most are turning to disruptive tech—including machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT), a.k.a. the “fourth industrial” tech referenced in the report’s title—to improve their products and services and otherwise transform their organizations. Frankly, they’re concerned about their company’s ability to keep up with new tech, and question whether basic, automated business processes can be integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive processes. In addition to AI and IoT, CIOs can also expect their CEOs to support greater investment in cyber-security and data analysis, the latter needed to develop new products and services, improve cost efficiencies and drive strategic change. “CEOs believe their organizations will need to develop incredible agility to stay ahead of the disruption caused by the fourth industrial revolution … and the ever-present threat that a new competitor could turn an established business model on its head overnight,” according to the report. “CEOs must pay more attention to the optics of how they do business. Having recognized their tasks and needs, CEOs are bracing themselves for the next three years with confident (but) realistic expectations.” A total of 400 U.S. CEOs took part in the research.


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