A future-ready business

Trends in globalisation and in digitalisation have motivated many organisations to expand or shift their business focus to adapt to the evolving business landscape. A majority (36 percent) of Nigerian CEOs surveyed described a resilient business as one that can adapt quickly to the changing business environment. In addition, a significant proportion of the CEOs (34 percent) believe that a resilient business must also protect the core and disrupt the market.

Our survey suggests that to future-proof their businesses, a substantial number of Nigerian CEOs (38 percent) intend to focus on modernising their workforce capabilities.

To master resilience, CEOs need to drive an organisation-wide digital reinvention. This means accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and undertaking wholesale upskilling of the workforce.

However, there appears to be a tension between the workforce changes Nigerian CEOs know they need to make and the investments that are required in their technology. The majority of CEOs (58 percent) say that they are placing more capital in buying new technology.

Investing in technology and digital transformation

CEOs are embracing the digital agenda like never before and are also under pressure to realise the benefits of the investments in digital. 86 percent of Nigerian CEOs expect to see significant return on investment (ROI) from their digital transformation programmes within 3 years. Over the same time period, 48 percent and 34 percent of Nigerian CEOs expect significant ROI on their artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation initiatives respectively.

AI-based technologies and their applications, from intelligent automation to voice recognition, offer an opportunity to transform organisational performance. They can be used to unearth insights from huge repositories of structured and unstructured data, improving the speed and quality of decision-making. They execute processes and tasks that used to be undertaken by employees – something they can do with significant speed and accuracy, leaving humans free to tackle higher-value tasks.

Only 14 percent of Nigerian CEOs in our study say that they have already implemented artificial intelligence to automate their processes and over half (54 percent) indicated that they have begun trialing AI in just a small number of processes.

Read the full 2019 Nigeria CEO Outlook report