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CEOs Rethink Customer Relationships as Business Complexity Grows

May 19, 2010
  |  3,425 views

Many CEOs are doubtful their companies can handle a volatile, increasingly complex business environment: 79% expect high or very high levels of business complexity over the next five years, and only 49% say their organizations are fully prepared to deal with that increased complexity, according to a study by IBM.

To cope with those changing business realities, most CEOs plan to focus both on developing new revenue sources and stronger customer relationships over the next five years.

Below, other findings from the biennial IBM Global CEO Study, based on interviews with 1,541 CEOs, general managers, and senior public-sector leaders from 60 countries and 33 industries.

Impact of Technology on Business

Asked to name the three external forces that will have the biggest impact on their organizations in the next five years, 56% of surveyed CEOs cite market factors—which has consistently topped the list since 2004.

However, this year, technological factors has risen in relative importance and now holds second place (39%), followed by macroeconomic factors (38%) and people skills (37%).


The complexity of an interconnected world is exacerbated by other factors, including increased competition: 65% of surveyed CEOs foresee a shift of economic power to rapidly developing markets, and 70% say they must double revenue from new sources in the next five years.

Rethinking Customer Relationships


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