KPMG Global Transformation Study Identifies Customer Insights, Innovation And Agility As Keys To Success

Global Transformation Study Identifies Keys To Success

The results of KPMG’s 2016 Global Transformation Study point to common elements among organizations that are successful business transformations

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The results of KPMG’s 2016 Global Transformation Study point to three common elements among organizations that are in the process of, or completed successful business transformations. The study, which surveyed more than 1,600 executives from multinational companies in 16 countries, found that 96 percent of organizations are in the midst of business transformation planning or execution.


While more than half (53 percent) of business leaders say they can realize sustainable value from transformation, gaps still remain among organizations that struggle to realize optimal value from transformation initiatives.


“Senior business leaders must improve their organizations’ ability to access deep customer, competitive and operational insights, to act with agility and embed innovation within their core business,” says Stephen G. Hasty, Jr., global transformation leader, KPMG. “These are the top action items for organizations to achieve a higher level of transformation and have a sustainable impact on their business performance.”


Focus on the customer
The study shows that organizations are placing an enhanced focus on deeply understanding customers to convert insights into differentiating innovation in a timely manner.


“While customer insights inspire meaningful innovation, many companies are still not truly oriented around their customers’ expectations,” says Hasty. “Less than half of companies are placing strong emphasis on understanding customer demographics and behaviors, so they may not be truly ‘in-touch’ with customer needs when they plan their transformation.”


Embed innovation into the business
Business leaders must also embed continual innovation into the culture and structure of their organizations in order to build enduring competitive advantage. To do so, they must have insights into what customers today and in the future truly value, and must follow a “business value first” approach to technology. Such an effort calls for enabling the organization to work smarter and faster so it can create return on investment even as it continues to innovate.


The study shows a clear shift among executives toward prioritizing innovation, demonstrated by 69 percent of survey respondents saying that their organization has the capabilities to implement formal innovation processes, management and budgets.


Learn to thrive on change
At the same time, senior executives realize the need to build agility into their organizations, so that as the business environments they operate in shift, their organizations are better able to transform and adapt to the innovations generated. Still, 37 percent of executives say that the greatest execution barrier they face in transformation is underestimating the significance of changes to their organization’s operating model.


“Business transformation can no longer be a ‘one and done’ initiative,” says Hasty. “Senior executives realize that their organizations must create mechanisms to continuously evolve and respond to the dynamic market environment. Unfortunately, these business leaders are up against serious barriers to reaching goals, as well as massive disruptions in technology and customer preferences and demand.”


To view the full 2016 Global Transformation Study, and learn more about how KPMG helps drive the transformational changes necessary to create higher-performing organizations, please visit

Study Methodology

KPMG’s 2016 Global Transformation Study targeted more than 1,600 senior executives from multinational organizations in 16 key markets (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States). The study, conducted between December 2015 and February 2016, included 54% from the ranks of C-level executives, with the remainder being managing director or above. Executives were evenly split among all industries.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.


Derek Brown

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