The Majority of CEOs Surveyed Believe Generative AI will Increase Their Organizations' Efficiencies
Wednesday, July 26th, 2023
For the first time since June 2021, talent is no longer the biggest challenge CEOs face today with geopolitics, the economy and uncertainty rising to the top of their list.
Fifty-three percent of CEOs expect a recession in the second half of 2023 or 2024. Fourteen percent believe their country is currently in a recession; 32% do not believe their country will have a recession.
CEOs continue to invest in technology as they adapt to an ever-changing environment while managing a variety of implementation challenges.
Over half of CEOs surveyed are evaluating or experimenting with Generative AI while another 37% are at limited production use or pervasive adoption.
Why it matters to CEOs
The "Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey" series tracks the perspectives and actions of CEOs from some the world's largest and most influential companies. The survey gives key insights into CEOs' priorities, challenges and expectations across more than 19 industries, including technology, finance and health care.
Despite geopolitical disruption and looming economic concerns, CEOs remain focused on navigating through uncertainty. While the challenges are many, today's CEOs demonstrate incredible resilience through their ability to navigate external factors and continue to explore and invest in emerging technologies.
Talent no longer tops CEO challenges
For the first time since June 2021, talent is no longer the biggest challenge CEOs face today. Rising to the top of the list, CEOs cited geopolitics, the economy and uncertainty as their top challenges. Of the CEOs surveyed, 57% indicated geopolitical instability, and 57% stated inflation as the top external factors expected to influence or disrupt their business strategy within the next 12 months, while labor/skills shortage as a disruptor was down to 36% from 38% in the February 2023 survey. While inflation remains a top concern for CEOs, 63% of respondents indicated they feel confident or very confident in their companies' ability to navigate issues related to inflation.
Anticipation of recession
Fifty-three percent of CEOs indicated that they expect a recession in the second half of 2023 or 2024. Of note, 14% of CEOs believe their country is currently in a recession, while 32% are not anticipating a recession in their country. Despite concerns around a recession, most CEOs (89%) still expect some degree of growth for their organization over the next year — highlighting the continued resilience and cautious optimism CEOs have demonstrated for the past few years. When considering economic indicators, CEOs predict only mild fluctuations from current levels with inflation decreasing slightly and the Fed Funds interest rate, S&P 500 and unemployment rates increasing slightly.
"While CEOs are split around their predictions for a recession, the majority are confident they can sustain some level of growth for their organization. Despite a variety of increasingly complex challenges, from geopolitical uncertainty to economic volatility, CEOs are focused on capturing opportunities of emerging technologies while maintaining a cautious approach and managing risk."
— Jason Girzadas, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte US
"Recession fears continue to recede for CEOs, with a third of them no longer anticipating a downturn. But inflation fears remain high, as does concern about the geopolitical environment. And more than half of CEOs have begun evaluating and experimenting with Generative AI." — Alan Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Fortune
CEOs continue to explore and invest in emerging technologies while staying the course with business strategy as they manage implementation challenges from workforce skills to applicable use cases and technology maturity. In fact, 83% of CEOs stated they are likely to align workforce skills and training in light of rapid technology changes. Further, given the impact of emerging technology on how work is performed, over the next six months, 52% of CEOs stated that they are likely to change expectations for where work is performed (e.g., on-site, hybrid, remote), while nearly 50% of CEOs indicated that they are likely to consider pausing or adjusting hiring.
Still early in its adoption, Generative AI is creating a wave of disruption. Over half of CEOs surveyed (55%) are evaluating or experimenting with Generative AI. Seventy-nine percent of CEOs believe Generative AI will increase efficiencies, and half of CEOs surveyed (52%) believe it will increase growth opportunities. Finally, over a third (37%) are currently implementing Generative AI to some degree.