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KPMG Hungary surveys growth, digitalization, jobs

Experts at Big Four consultancy KPMG analyzed the state of digitalization, economic growth, and the growing influence of Generation Y during a breakfast briefing based on its latest research, attended by the Budapest Business Journal.

Robert Stöllinger, KPMG

Robert Stöllinger, CEO of KPMG Hungary, directed attention to the differing views about growth. While economists expect growth of 4%, CEOs consider conservative estimates of around 2% more realistic, according to KPMG’s 2018 Global CEO Outlook research. 

Cybersecurity was also among the topics discussed. According to Stöllinger: “Some 49% think that the question to be asked about cyber attacks should be ‘when,’ not ‘if’.”

Tamás Kórász, KPMG Hungary’s IT advisory partner, called cybersecurity a “board-level problem,” noting with concern that some boards lack digital experts. He added that 38% of EU companies were not prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), while describing the Hungarian numbers as “maybe even a bit worse.”

Ágnes Rakó, KPMG’s partner for smart digital finance, emphasized the need for people to be familiar with IT, as well as their own field. She called for a strong interaction between IT and finance departments.

“Potential job-seekers are more attracted to opportunities that are not too manual and repetitive,” Rakó said with respect to the Hungarian job market, referring to openings that combine both traditional and digital challenges.

While not as popular or developed as in the United Kingdom, supermarkets’ online shopping systems are essential as a learning process, paving the way to other online services, according to Zsolt Müller, director of KPMG’s retail and consumer markets practice. 

In other fields, Hungary is performing well, he noted.

“Contactless payment is more developed in Hungary than in Germany, for example,” observed Müller. “The future is here, just not evenly distributed,” he said of the uneven state of digitalization.

Müller also put a figure on how millenials will shape the economy, predicting that “Generation Y will become the group with the most purchasing power in Hungary in about eight years.”