Why CEOs believe in digital and purpose

by Vito Mabrucco

25 February 2021

Our new normal, working from home

Topics in this article

Building the future: the top three technologies cited as most useful by respondents

As the world continues to combat the pandemic and look ahead to better days, digital technology and social impact programs help us build back in new and more meaningful ways

While many aspects of our new normal represent sacrifices and challenges, it also presents every organization with the opportunity to rethink and reinvent models, processes, and systems, particularly when it comes to digital transformation.

NTT recently teamed up with Wall Street Journal Intelligence to conduct a global survey of CEOs, to delve deeper into the acceleration to digital and shift to a more stakeholder-centric corporate view. Findings are shared in a new whitepaper, ‘Building back with purpose for a safe, equitable and connected future,’ and some highlights below.

Business professional working offsite

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented CEO’s with the opportunity to rethink and reinvent their digitally transformation

Corporate social responsibility is put to test

It’s been a time for organizations to keep the promises made to employees, customers, and broader society. Many companies around the world openly speak to their social impact and goals, whether that is to safeguard the health and safety of employees, bring communities together in new ways, or improve access to vital services. The pandemic further intertwined social purpose with a company’s brand and strategy. The research illustrates that over 56% of CEOs believe corporations generate value for all stakeholders, employees, clients, communities, and shareholders, by earning profits by minimizing harm to society. An additional 14% of CEOs see the corporation’s role as contributing to social challenges as a means to generate long-term stakeholder value. Findings show that major corporations are also taking their social-impact programs seriously, incorporating a growing list of metrics to measure efforts and impact.

Business professional working from home

Cloud and collaboration tools ensure employees work from home safely

Technology as the social changemaker

Emerging and complex digital technologies are fueling the tools and opportunities to address some big problems. Big Data, analytics, and AI are playing a role in helping us to understand the coronavirus better. Heavier reliance on the cloud and new collaboration tools make everyday life more manageable while most of us remain at home. Research indicates that CEOs are feeling optimistic about new technologies and how these might help solve social challenges moving forward. While leaders are satisfied with their ability to use digital to support social impact programs, they see significant opportunities in a range of technology-driven solutions, especially around cloud innovation and data analytics. 

The need for business models that are both digital and flexible has never been greater

The research highlights the dire necessity for digital technologies that made it possible for businesses and societies to keep the wheels turning over the last 12 months and beyond. It’s no surprise that CEOs told us that COVID-19 had a massive impact on their corporate strategy, with sizeable pivots towards digital models. Technology is the key driver at the heart of the world’s response to the pandemic, providing us with a means to adapt and adjust. Across our personal and professional lives, digital tools have grown exponentially and have become our lifeline. Global leaders believe the digital focus will only accelerate as we carve out a life in a post-pandemic world. 

Business professionals at workplace

Technology is the key driver in the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Looking ahead

Our world is increasingly digitally-led with more infrastructure, cloud, automation, digitization, data, and AI than we’ve ever seen before. Keeping it all secure is challenging yet critical. So much hope and opportunity sits within the COVID-19 recovery as we think anew and look to shape our efforts to solve the world’s biggest challenges. 

To find out more about how we are building the future, and to read out whitepaper, visit our microsite.

To find out how digital transformation can build a better future for your customers, employees, communities and stakeholders, click here.

Vito Mabrucco

Vito Mabrucco

NTT Global Marketing Inc