New research reveals risk factors for business success in a post-pandemic world

Economist Impact survey of 2,000 business leaders, sponsored by Cognizant, shows top challenges include competing priorities, valuing technology investments, downsizing talent and skills, and pursuing ESG actions

  • About 90% of respondents cited competing strategic imperatives, including data-driven ways of working, digital business models, and aligning operations with these new ways of working.
  • More than 60% of respondents are planning or have already started to adopt advanced technologies such as quantum computing, blockchain and robotics. Yet nearly 50% say they are not getting significant value from existing technology investments.
  • Nearly half of respondents, or about 46%, acknowledge that they lack the internal talent needed to implement and use advanced technologies.
  • An overwhelming majority of nine out of 10 respondents agree that attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is an essential aspect of modern business; only 35% currently integrate ESG into the company’s strategy.

TEANECK, NJ, August 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —

Cognizant today presented The Future-Ready Business Benchmark, an Economist Impact study, commissioned by Cognizant. This comprehensive survey of business leaders from eight industries and 10 countries aims to understand the state of modern business and how leaders are preparing for long-term success in a post-pandemic world. The research identifies three critical interrelated areas for leaders to prioritize to create a resilient, future-ready business: 1) fully leverage accelerated technology adoption, 2) revise workforce strategies, and 3) bridging the gap between thought and action in the face of growing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

“Resilience is the new capability that is essential for any organization that expects to thrive in times of intensified competition, ever-accelerating digital technology, and unpredictable global events,” said Euan Davis, Cognizant Research Manager. “To succeed as a modern business, leaders must be prepared for anything, and prioritization is key when everything seems equally critical. The ESG program is a central focus for leaders to focus on. Successful CxOs Build resilient, future-ready businesses by ensuring their organizations continually learn, adapt and evolve.

Economist Impact surveyed 2,000 senior executives in 10 countries across North America, Europeand Asia Pacific to assess and benchmark their business across a range of measures.

Highlights of the survey include the following information:

  • Strategic clarity is confused. More than 90% of business leaders surveyed say adopting a data-driven approach and creating a digital-first business model is a strategic priority, with 37% citing both imperatives, as well as the need to align operations with these new ways of working, as “business critical”.
  • Technology investments are accelerating beyond what has become the standard shopping list for cloud, advanced analytics, IoT and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), even as respondents say they are not yet taking full advantage of existing investments. In addition to these foundational technologies, which the vast majority of respondents, 80%, say they have adopted or plan to adopt, there is a growing appetite for a set of emerging technologies; more than 60% of respondents say they are considering or already adopting quantum computing, blockchain and robotics.
  • Labor and talent management strategies need a major overhaul to prepare workers for new ways of working. Nearly half of respondents, or 46%, agree that they lack the skilled talent needed to productively use advanced technologies. When asked about the biggest barriers to implementing new processes, products, services and technologies over the past 12 months, the top two challenges were related to the workforce: a lack of skilled staff and a chronic lack of focus on preparing workers for new methods. of work. For example, only a third, or 33%, of respondents use data to identify and understand training needs and cultivate talent.
  • Business resilience is at risk for companies that recognize ESG as a critical consideration but fail to take steps to embed ESG across the organization. Nine out of 10 decision makers, or 90%, agree that considering ESG issues is an important aspect of a modern business. However, there is a massive disconnect between recognition and action, with only 31% having dedicated ESG staff and resources, and only 35% integrating ESG into company strategy. . A slight majority, 54%, say they set and act on specific environmental goals, while only 44% currently measure social impact.

“Many businesses today are struggling to prepare for the next month, let alone years to come,” noted Vaibhav Sahgal, Director at Economist Impact. “Companies that truly embed the future-readiness principles of our Future-Ready Business Benchmark into their operational realities will maintain and grow their competitive advantage. juggling a wide range of often competing priorities Our advice is to start where the gaps are greatest and focus on people; the benchmark offers concrete calls to action for companies in all countries and sectors. A failure to embrace the volatility that is here to stay, and prioritize business plans and investments accordingly, puts your business at risk of losing relevance.”

Study methodology
The Future-Ready Business Benchmark, a study by Economist Impact, supported by Cognizant, examines the state of businesses today in light of the needs of tomorrow. It was developed through a rigorous process of research, expert consultation, data collection and analysis. The benchmark reflects a series of key considerations and measures of the future readiness of multinational enterprises from 10 developed economies and eight sectors, covering the external environment, business readiness factors and current performance, and focused on cross-cutting themes, including business fundamentals, talent, technology and innovation capacity, and ESG.

Learn more about what it takes to be a future-ready business here.

About Cognizant
Competent (Nasdaq: CSP) modern business engineers. We help our customers modernize technology, reinvent process and transform experiences so they can stay ahead of our fast-paced world. Together, we make everyday life better. See how to www.cognizant.com or @cognizant.

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