CEOs’ confidence in both the global and Hungarian economic growth is “subdued” compared to last year, according to the eighth survey of local business leaders by PwC Hungary. Here are just a few of the highlights.
Despite this, CEOs remain confident about their own organizations’ success, which they aim to ensure by focusing on operational efficiencies, innovation and human capital.
While everyone agrees data plays a key role in decision-making, few CEOs are satisfied with the quality and scope of their data. While the majority of global and Hungarian CEOs agree that AI will dramatically change their business over the next five years.
The overwhelming majority of both Hungarian (87%) and global CEOs (77%) say they are planning operational efficiencies to drive revenue growth. The next two items on global CEOs’ list of activities are organic growth (72%) and launching a new product or service (62%). In Hungary, launching a new product (56%) precedes organic growth (51%).
CEOs affirmed that the unavailability of key skills affects their growth prospects. Among the impacts noted are higher people costs, deteriorating customer experience, missed market opportunities, and not being able to innovate effectively. As a consequence, 44% of global CEOs and 37% of Hungarian CEOs believe they are missing their growth targets.
Ninety-two percent of Hungarian CEOs reported that finding the right talent has become increasingly difficult over the past year (slightly down from the 95% in 2018). The most frequently cited solution to the skills gap – selected by every fourth CEO (27%) – is establishing a strong pipeline direct from education. Twenty-three percent see significant retraining/upskilling as the answer, while every fifth CEO (19%) considers hiring from competitors an option. Globally, nearly every second company (46%) sees retraining/upskilling as the solution.
CEOs seem to be in agreement on the value of data: nearly all respondents indicated a willingness to use data to ensure the long-term success and durability of their business. And yet, despite massive investments in IT infrastructure over the past decade, CEOs report that they are still not receiving the comprehensive data they need to make key decisions. The only exception is financial information, with 51% of Hungarian CEOs satisfied with what they get. For all other data types, less than 50% of respondents reported receiving comprehensive data.
What are the primary reasons for the inadequacy of data received? Globally, most CEOs cited lack of analytical talent in their organizations (54%), followed by data siloing and lack of sharing (51%), with half of them also identifying poor data reliability. Hungarian CEOs see the latter reason as the most important (48%), followed by unwillingness of customers and clients to share information (38%). Inability to quantify external information and data siloing and lack of sharing rank third (33%) and fourth (31%), respectively. Lack of analytical talent was only cited by 29% of Hungarian CEOs.
Despite the above difficulties, 50% of CEOs globally and 41% in Hungary said that their organization’s ability to make decisions based on data and analytics was ahead of their competitors, with 37% saying they were at about the same level, and only 12% indicating globally and in Hungary that they were behind in this respect.
The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ). In parallel with the Hungarian survey, which was based on in-person interviews, PwC conducted nearly 1,400 interviews with CEOs worldwide. This enables comparison with the thinking and strategic direction of Hungarian CEOs. The full survey report in Hungarian and English, a promotional video and further details are available on PwC’s Hungarian CEO Survey website (www.pwc.com/hu/ceosurvey).