C-suite ranks supply chain top challenge; data analytics top strategic area

Paris -- The focus of c-suite and senior executive attention has shifted from economic uncertainty to data, technology and the supply chain, according to the Global Top of Mind Survey from KPMG International and the Consumer Goods Forum. Over half (54%) of respondents cited digital strategy for mobile/digital platforms as top of mind for their business during the next 12 months.

The supply chain was rated as the number one challenge for companies - and also the most likely to receive increased investment (42%) this year, followed by investments in data analytics (28%) and digital strategy (28%). And 56% of the respondents cited data analytics as being important to their firm’s strategy, making it the highest-ranked strategic area in the survey, followed by data security (47%).

“While data analytics may be at the top of the corporate agenda, the challenge that should really be keeping companies awake at night is data security,” said Willy Kruh, global chair, consumer markets KPMG International. “Companies are still a long way from where they need to be in terms of protecting their client and proprietary information from security breaches. Hackers will always be one step ahead, and companies need to ensure they are not overconfident in their ability to protect themselves.”

• 47% of the respondents cited data security as being very or critically important to their business, and 29% said it will be one of their biggest challenges over the next 12 months;

• Data analytics were cited as one of the three biggest business challenges over the next 12 months (21%);

• 45% of executives said speed and agility is their top priority for improving the supply chain;

• 44% of business leaders cited traceability and transparency around end-to-end value chains as a top goal for their company just ahead of reducing waste and emissions (42%) and sustainable sourcing (41%);

• Food retailers and manufacturers listed health-and-wellness (47%) and securing food safety (46%) as their top goals for the next 12 months;

• Reputation and brand (41%), consumer demand (34%) and competition (28%) were cited as three main drivers behind sustainability; and

• 56% said health-and-wellness and/or CSR and sustainability priorities are very important to their business.

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