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Global Uncertainty Continues To Weigh On Corporate Ceos

 April 17, 2012 04:09 PM


(R. Chandrasekaran) Ambiguity in economic conditions around the world continues to play truant in chief executive officers' mind. This is expected to impact enterprises unfavorably. Predictably, concerns are more in the European Union than North America and Asia/Pacific. Yet, it was the top point among the three geographies.

As much as 85 percent of the surveyed CEOs believe that the year 2012 could be termed as living hesitantly, a survey among the CEOs and senior business executive conducted by Gartner indicates.

Significantly, the research firm surveyed more than 220 CEOs from over 25 countries in November and December last year. The research firm surveyed companies that have yearly revenue of $500 million and more. However, the latest economic conditions around the world are mixed. China's first quarter GDP last week was a dampener. The weakness came on the back of a widening trade surplus for March and higher inflation. Germany, on the other hand, has provided positive economic indicators. Yet, the undercurrent of doubt on the strength of the global economy is still there.

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However, the strong point of the survey is that corporations will continue to increase their spending towards IT in 2012. The survey indicates that CEOs, by more than two to one, prefer to increase their IT spending rather than reduce it. Though this should be good news to IT and IT service providers, the growth will be slower than last year. While CRM will remain CEOs preferred IT capability, newer trends like cloud and mobile are also gaining ground.

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The second point to haunt the CEOs was costs, which, the research firm claims has got the highest ranking since 2009. The CEOs will choose a geographical expansion path for growth, which undoubtedly remains the top priority for them.

Though the CEOs are advancing innovative management, it is threatening to face a strategy gap of digital business. The latest survey findings also indicate that about half the CEOs are investing more for innovative management and leadership qualities. However, 25 percent of the respondents don't think it is a precise discipline. Interestingly, a third of CEOs indicated that they select themselves for leading innovation teams in their firms. CIOs and CFOs were not at all identified for the innovative management.

However, the Gartner analyst believes that CEOs should re-look into the possibility of inducting CIOs in innovative management in view of the rapid growth in information technology and the risk of being in the sidelines in the face of rising digital competition.

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