Thursday, 29 April 2021

Back to Normal? Not This Year!


The 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey found that majority (45%) of the 500 CEOs around the world are anticipating businesses returning to ‘normal’ only in 2022, whereas a significant portion (24%) believes that their businesses are forever changed.

Nearly one-third (31%) of CEOs think that their businesses will return to normal in 2021. This is at global level. In Asia Pacific, on the other hand, only 6% anticipate that it will happen this year. Globally, 9 out of 10 CEOs intend to ask employees to report when they have been vaccinated, which will help organizations consider measures to protect their workforce.

Unsurprisingly, CEOs want to be confident that their workforce is protected against this virus before making any major business decisions. The survey found that more than two-thirds (71%) of CEOs will look for a successful Covid-19 vaccine rollout, where at least half of the population is vaccinated, before asking their staff to return to office, while 68% of CEOs want to see government encouragement/ enablement.

The pandemic prompted many organizations to rethink their existing strategies and commit to digitalization. CEOs are planning to invest more in technologies such as data security measures, digital communications, automation and customer-centric technologies. It was observed 69% of the CEOs say they are putting more money into accelerated technology investments as a result of the pandemic implications. Nearly half think technology will help with cost savings and believe that customers are more open to these investments due to the pandemic.

While the world may never return to the way it was before the pandemic, we must continue to adapt and stay ahead of the waves of change. CEOs need to better understand the needs of their employees, communities, customers, partners and investors. Why not take this as an opportunity to redefine what the new normal should look like?



1.     KPMG 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey

2.     KPMG: Nearly half of global CEOs don’t expect a return to ‘normal’ till 2022, 29 March 2021, MalayMail

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