KPMG’s 2016 U.S. Telecom CEO Outlook | KPMG | PK
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US Telecom CEOs Understand The Need To Be Innovative Yet Are Having Difficulty Building Innovative Cultures: KPMG Study

KPMG’s 2016 U.S. Telecom CEO Outlook

US telecom CEOs share what’s top of mind; Cybersecurity and use of D&A also a concern


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The majority of U.S. telecom CEOs realize that being innovative is the only way for their companies to stay competitive, yet, according to the 2016 KPMG CEO Outlook survey, many are not actually integrating innovation into their company’s cultures.

In the poll of 56 U.S. telecom CEOs, 70 percent say innovation is among the top three issues on their personal agenda. However, only half of those surveyed indicated that their organizations had a defined approach to innovation. Specifically, one-third described their organization’s approach to innovation as “accelerated,” while only 18 percent called their approach to innovation “strategic.” For the remaining 48 percent, their approaches are described as either ad hoc or siloed, and not part of an integrated innovation program touching all parts of the organization.

“Today’s ‘any-time, any-where’ connectivity has put consumers in the driver’s seat, allowing their behaviors to drive disruption in the telecommunications industry,” said Paul Wissmann, National Sector Leader for KPMG LLP’s Media and Telecommunications practice. “Innovation needs to be a strategic imperative, embedded into everything a company does, or they will have a hard time keeping pace with the demands of their customers.”

U.S. telecom CEOs also expressed concerns around disruptive technologies and how they will impact their ability to stay current. In fact, only 23 percent say they are extremely concerned with their organization’s ability to stay on top of ‘what’s next’ in products and services. Similarly, less than half (41 percent) said that they were extremely concerned about new market entrants, not currently perceived as a competitor, disrupting their business models.

Information protection remains top of mind, with 64 percent saying they were most concerned about cybersecurity risk — more so than strategic, regulatory, or geopolitical risks. However, only two percent of respondents said their company was fully prepared to mitigate a cybersecurity attack, while the remaining 98 percent said their companies were only ‘somewhat’ prepared.

Data & Analytics
Eighty-nine percent of respondents said that they were effective in using D&A to improve performance, but only seven percent of respondents considered themselves a leader in using D&A to better understand customer behavior. At the same time, only 27 percent of respondents put measurement and analysis of customer experience and needs as one of their top three areas for significant investment in the next three years. This marks a critical gap in the way telecom CEOs viewed how well they were using D&A overall compared to how well they were using D&A to gain insights into their customers.

“Data and analytics is one way telecoms can gauge customer behavior and win new converts, which is one of their highest priorities,” said Richard Hanley, Advisory Leader for KPMG LLP’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. “For example, telecom companies can use the huge amounts of data that passes through their networks – including usage patterns, download history and content preferences – to determine how often and in what way customers are using their services. This data can then be used in any number of ways to improve the consumer experience through enhanced products and services.”


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 189,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 152 countries.


Brandon Hatler
201-307-8637 (O)
201-638-5263 (M)

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