The CEO's best kept secret to maintaining an organization's relevance

Digital transformation is undoubtedly crucial for organizations. Here's how CEOs are using evolving tech to stay relevant in today's tech market.

Upskilling workers in the age of digital transformation Upskilling is more than just a new term, it's becoming a necessity for many companies in response to job automation.

While it's already been established that digital transformation is crucial for business survival, it is also critical for business relevance, according to KPMG's 2019 US CEO Outlook report released on Tuesday. With technology causing digital environments to shift faster than ever before, CEOs have the choice to either embrace agility, or allow their organizations to become obsolete, the report found. 

The report, conducted by Forbes Insights, surveyed 1,300 CEOs from organizations that generate at least $500 million in annual revenues. These CEOs represent a wide array of industries including consumer and retail, insurance, life sciences, banking, energy, manufacturing, and technology.

SEE: Digital transformation: An IT pro's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The majority (68%) of US CEOs said that agility is do-or-die for an organization, the report found, but they are not letting the fear of obsoletion hinder their progress. Almost all (91%) of CEOs surveyed said they are personally leading the digital transformation strategy for their organizations, in an effort to promote and enable agility. 

"We continue to be in a growth market that is driven by disruption," S. Singh Mecker, KPMG's US leader of alliances and partnerships, said in the report. "Forming strategic alliances is allowing companies, today more than ever, to quickly innovate and enter new markets where they're not constrained by their traditional, organic growth structures."

Some 81% of CEOs said they plan on targeting inorganic growth, focusing on strategic alliances, digital transformation, and M&A, the report found. However, CEOs are not naive when it comes to the associated obstacles of digital transformation. These leaders have grown more realistic about the timeframes and returns on artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies, but they are willing to be patient if it yields lasting results. 

Other than agility, the report cited collaboration with third-party partnerships and upskilling as the other necessary components to seeing returns on tech investments. Forging strategic partnerships is key to achieving the agility necessary in a fast-paced digital environment, and workforces must have the right tools and skills to handle these projects, the report added. 

For more, check out TechRepublic's article on Upskilling workers in the age of digital transformation

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Image: iStockphoto/fizkes

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.