KPMG finds growing demand for emerging tech

Business and IT leaders are investing in emerging technology in a bid to stay ahead of competitors, the KPMG global tech report 2023 has found.

KPMG surveyed 2,100 executives and carried out in-depth discussions with industry experts to find out how organisations are looking at the next stage of the digital transformation journey.

The survey found that, due to successful digital transformation initiatives, 73% of executives believe they will be able to grow using their existing technology stack. But KPMG also found that 38% of respondents reported having buy-in from senior leaders for the deployment of emerging tools and technologies – an increase from just 10% when this research was conducted in 2021.

However, economic uncertainty has left 65% of businesses feeling less confident about investing in new technology. This sense of nervousness around investing in new technologies means that investments need to be intentional, where they are aligned to a business objective. 

David Reeve, CIO at the University of Technology Sydney, who was interviewed as part of the study, said: “Being intentional means being really clear what value you intend to generate from the technology you deploy, and this value needs to be quantifiable in some way.”

The report noted that completely shying away from innovation and settling for the strength of existing tech stacks represents a halt in progress, which could give competitors a window of opportunity to overtake and become industry leaders.

KPMG found that nervousness around market uncertainty was also impacting investment plans, with 67% of survey respondents saying they were expected to do more with a smaller budget than last year.

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While KPMG found that businesses are excited about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI), they are still in the early stages of using it. Just 15% have reached a stage where they are progressing proactively in the delivery of their AI strategies. In contrast, 68% of organisations reported that their work with data and analytics has gone beyond the experimental phase, while 17% described their approach to data and analytics as “embedded”, where it is fully integrated into daily operations and is generating returns.

KPMG urged business leaders to avoid the trap of becoming complacent. If they fail to stay in tune with new industry developments and shifts in customer expectations, organisations may soon see their competitors overtake them, the report’s authors warned.

According to KPMG, the IT function must learn to tell its story more effectively. Among industrial manufacturing companies, for example, confidence and performance are elevated. The report’s authors said it was no coincidence that 81% of businesses in this sector say they are fully aware of the productivity impact and financial costs of their existing technology debts. No other sector comes close to such self-awareness – only 59% of life sciences businesses, for example, say the same.

KPMG urged business and IT leaders responsible for digital transformation to intentionally highlight the business outcomes in order to win access to the support and resources they need to reach their key ambitions.

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