Tech executives remain confident to continue digital investment, finds new report
Spending on emerging technologies will continue for the next two years, despite challenging market conditions
Spending on emerging technologies will continue for the next two years
Despite the challenging economic landscape, businesses are accelerating their investment in digital, according to the findings of a new KPMG global technology survey.
The survey of 2,200 tech executives, including 100 in the UK, has highlighted that despite rising costs, economic uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil, and a global talent challenge – businesses are advancing their digital transformation journeys and plan to invest heavily in the next few years.
Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed globally expect to embrace emerging technology platforms in the next two years. Other headline findings from UK respondents to the survey by KPMG include:
- 79 percent say their organisations are currently migrating strategic workloads to the cloud.
- Over the next 12 months, customer and user experience is the key focus area of investment for 52 percent.
- 74 percent believe that technology debts do not inhibit their firm’s future IT investments and are in fact, pivotal for their organisations to grow and evolve.
Ian West, head of technology and alliances at KPMG UK said: “The findings from our new survey indicate that despite global headwinds, businesses still see it as critical to invest in new and emerging technologies to drive transformation and growth in their businesses.”
Businesses are already making plans to embrace the technologies of the future
Organisations are poised to invest heavily in emerging technology and digital transformation, despite tense operating conditions. Survey respondents expressed a bold vision for what they could do across a broad expanse of new technologies: crypto, the metaverse, Web3, NFTs, quantum computing, VR/AR, 5G, and edge computing.
In the next 6-12 months 39 percent of UK respondents said that they plan to invest in cryptocurrencies, whereas in the next 1-2 years, 43 percent plan to invest in VR/AR technologies, followed by Web3 with 42 percent of UK respondents planning to invest. Looking more long-term, 47 percent of UK respondents are planning to invest in NFTs and the Metaverse in the next 3-5 years.
Over two-thirds (70 percent) of UK respondents indicated that they plan to outsource and/or partner with technology companies to build and deploy Metaverse and Web3 technologies. The majority of UK firms (54 percent) are waiting to invest in the Metaverse, with the primary trigger being when the technologies are more developed and more widely adopted.
“A revolution of emerging technology is set to unfold over the next several years. Proficiency in new and emerging technologies will be paramount to defending market share by enhancing customer experience and business resilience,” said Paul Henninger, head of data, AI and emerging technologies at KPMG UK. “Successful businesses of 2022 and beyond will be digital to the core.”
“While many companies remain hesitant to adopt some of these emerging technologies in their infancy, 2024 looks poised to be an inflection point for new technology acceptance. And after five years, it will be the rare company that has not invested in every one of these tools that—while are still in the early days—look poised to reshape the business world,” Henninger added.
Amplifying customer centricity is the primary goal for investing in enterprise technology according to 51 percent (45 percent globally) of UK survey respondents.
Businesses planning to invest the most in customer experience, AI and Machine Learning
Over the next 12 months, customer and user experience is the key focus area of investment for 52 percent of respondents in the UK (57 percent globally). This is closely followed by AI and machine learning at 48 percent. However, there is a shift expected in the next three years with AI and machine learning becoming the topmost priority for UK firms.
Henninger said: “As the amount of data accessible to businesses grows, adoption of AI and machine learning does too as businesses look at the best ways of processing and learning as much as they can from the data at their fingertips. Establishing a platform that can make data truly useful is central to improving customer experience and business efficiency.”
Companies report high digital confidence and returns
The survey found that respondents are upbeat about what their business will achieve through transformation. Specifically, 68 percent of UK respondents (66 percent globally) say their organisations are very or extremely effective in using digital to support their businesses.
Meanwhile, nearly every single respondent reports a positive impact on profitability or performance from digital transformation over the past 24 months and a notable number are making serious gains. One in five respondents (20 percent) say their efforts have achieved profitability or performance increases of 11 percent or higher.
West said: “Digital transformation is less of a differentiator than it was. Nearly all organisations achieved some form of return from digital transformation in the last two years. It’s important to make sure that the success achieved so far doesn’t breed perfectionism that stifles innovation.”
“Digital investment and transformation strategies must always continue to adapt to new conditions and opportunities, or digital leadership won’t last long,” added Ian.
Enterprises are investing heavily in cloud, but face cultural resistance
Businesses of every size and sector are accelerating their move to the cloud to enhance the speed, agility, security and value of their IT investments.
79 percent of UK respondents say their organisations are currently migrating strategic workloads to the cloud. The benefits of cloud transformation are being seen by those businesses with 76 percent (80 percent globally), being satisfied or highly satisfied with the success of their cloud transformation programmes.
However, one of the top challenges being faced by respondents is cultural resistance to cloud migration, with this being faced by 35 percent of UK respondents in their cloud journeys.
“Most respondents are well into their cloud journey but there is still much to do. Satisfaction with cloud transformation to-date is largely positive, but value realisation has taken the form of cost reduction and efficiency gains and these don’t result from a pure technology shift. Rather, organisations need to focus on their ‘ways of working’ as they reach critical scale in their cloud journey,” said Priya Raju, director, cloud transformation – financial services at KPMG UK.
Raju added that tomorrow’s businesses will operate primarily on cloud infrastructure.
“As more companies transform with cloud at their core, the next competitive challenge will be accelerating migration, scaling up platforms, and maximising value of cloud,” she said.
Technology investment seen as pivotal for growth and evolution
Despite the global headwinds that businesses are having to navigate, there is a positive future outlook for technological investments and advancements. 74 percent of UK respondents believe that technology debts do not inhibit their firm’s future IT investments and are in fact, pivotal for their organisations to grow and evolve.
West added, “Businesses are understanding the importance of using technologies to retain customers and improve their market share. Technology looks to be an area of investment that will stay a priority because of the benefits it can have throughout an entire organisation; it is absolutely central to growth. Businesses must now look at how they can innovate and lead the way. The future will be won by businesses that find new ways to push the envelope with digital.”
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Media Relations Manager, KPMG UK
KPMG Global Tech Survey
You can read the full Global report here: KPMG Global tech report – 2022 (assets.kpmg)
About the research
About the research KPMG surveyed 2,200 executives globally in Q2 2022, including 100 UK executives. This quantitative study was complemented by a set of interviews with seven technology and industry experts.
About KPMG UK
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 15,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.43 billion in the year ended 30 September 2021.
KPMG is a global organisation of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Legal, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 145 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.