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Business Transformation is the new buzzword.

It's a CEO agenda item, so everyone is discussing it.


EY's CEO Outlook Pulse Survey from January 2024* further underscores the widespread focus on transformation. It reveals that 95% of CEOs plan to maintain or accelerate their transformation efforts in 2024. Notably, 58% of these CEOs aim to accelerate their plans, marking a substantial increase over the past six months.


In brief, as per the report

  • CEOs adopt a business transformation imperative to reshape their businesses organically and inorganically within a new market reality.

  • CEOs and PE leaders accept lower growth prospects, sticky inflation and "higher-for-longer" interest rates but have greater certainty in their outlook.

  • PE leaders and corporate CEOs have a bullish outlook for M&A in 2024, citing the return of the megadeal in a more buoyant buy-sell environment.


Transformation is front and centre on the 2024 CEO agenda.

Most CEOs (95%) plan to maintain or accelerate their transformational change in 2024, with those looking to accelerate plans (58%) nearly tripling over the past six months. With a realistic yet optimistic outlook about their performance and with higher certainty about the global macroeconomic and geopolitical landscape, CEOs are looking to reimagine their businesses significantly.


Despite anticipating a continued low-growth environment and no near-term return to ultra-low interest rates, CEOs remain optimistic about their growth and profitability, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and focusing on financial operations for enhanced efficiencies. But organic business transformation is just one part of the story. CEOs are also looking at the composition of their portfolio. It may be good timing, with our comparative survey of private equity (PE) leaders indicating they want to accelerate investment plans, with anticipated corporate divestitures as targeted assets. This potential partnership could benefit both cohorts.


CEOs and PE leaders are equally upbeat about the outlook for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for 2024. Most expect a return of megadeals as the overall deal market picks up after a subdued 2023.


EY's quarterly study of 1,200 CEOs globally is the latest instalment in the CEO Imperative Series. It provides insights on boardroom agenda items such as capital allocation, investment and business transformation strategies as the global economy moves into a new phase. This edition also features the views of 300 investment leaders from the PE industry, reflecting that sector's unique perspective on acquiring, restructuring and revitalising businesses.


GenAI will be a catalyst for business transformation.


GenAI will drive the next wave of business transformation. Some banks are already creating use cases with GenAI to Unlock efficiency, Improve Customer Experience and Boost revenues in new ways.


  • For an organisation with $20 billion in revenue, BCG **estimates that GenAI can lead to $500 million to $1 billion in profit, with nearly a third of those gains coming in the first 18 months.

  • 90% of companies are lagging– 50% are in the Pilot stage, and 40% have not started

  • Energy, Biopharma, and Insurance are taking the lead, while Banking has yet to begin GenAI in a big way, so it's a huge opportunity.



Investment in DATA capabilities is facilitating business transformation.


Banks are investing in solid DATA capabilities to improve decision-making, simplify regulatory monitoring and reporting, improve Customer Experiences and maintain competitive advantage. DATA is a significant part of the business transformation they plan or work on.


  • Data is a critical source of competitive differentiation in a few industries, especially in Financial Institutions ***.

  • Advanced analytics are helping drive Sales Management, Financial Risk Management and Cybersecurity.

  • Machine Learning and Gen AI are already driving decision-making and efficiencies.

  • Supply chain management, regulatory reporting, end-user expectations management, and redefining roles and designations are other use cases where DATA is driving business transformation.


Experiments in newer technologies.


Banks are also experimenting with technologies like Blockchain and IoT to improve efficiencies and accessibility, streamline operations, improve security, and offer personalised services.



Written by

Ravishankar Gopalan



Article References:




***Source 3: DACAMA research 2021: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2021/companies-data-capabilities-progress#:~:text=BCG' s%20latest%20Data%20Capability%20Maturity,pulling%20away%20from%20the%20pack



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