Fast changes in technology lower optimism of industry leaders

Growing technological change is a double-edged sword for CEOs in technology, media and entertainment and telecoms (communications) as concerns over skills and cyber-security risks continue to bring them down.

PwC's 19th annual Global CEO Survey studied 1,322 respondents from 77 countries in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. CEOs are concerned with the shortage of tech-savvy workers and not being able to keep up with emerging technologies, all of which are top threats for innovation and future revenue growth.

Tech CEOs view cyber-security as more of a threat than in any other sector (61 percent). Almost 70 percent are anxious about competition from new market entrants of tech start-ups. The survey found that 66 percent of tech leaders are worried they won't keep up with the growing pace of technological change. Over half (60 percent) of CEOs are planning strategic alliances to achieve growth goals, with the UK, US and China ranked as the top markets for growth in the next 12 months.

81 percent of CEOs in telecoms are concerned about the availability of key skills. Over 80 percent of leaders are concerned about overregulation and are more anxious about unemployment than CEOs from other sectors. Almost 60 percent of telecoms CEOs say they plan to enter into strategic alliances or joint ventures this year.

Compared to three years ago, there are more threats to their company's growth prospects according to 76 percent of entertainment and media CEOs. Almost three quarters (74 percent) of leaders say that new market entrants from start-ups may threaten growth prospects. The US and China are rated as having the best growth prospects while the UK is now in the top three.

“Never before have CEOs across these sectors experienced such complex challenges as they navigate the positives and negatives from the vast changes that technology has produced. They must manage their own digital transformations while pursuing innovation for the rest of the market. While the growth prospects across technology, communications and entertainment and media are huge, it is clear that a skilled and adaptable workforce is now more crucial than ever,” said PwC's UK and EMEA TMT Leader, Jass Sarai.

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