Businesses have moved beyond the initial shock and crisis management phase of the coronavirus pandemic, and are shifting their focus to fundamental changes that will reshape their companies, according to the latest survey of top corporate executives from accounting firm PwC.
What it means: While executives say they are concerned about things like bringing workers back into the office, cybersecurity and investments, right now "there is a very common theme around revenue generation going forward that we're seeing dominate the C-Suite," PwC chair and senior partner Tim Ryan said during a call with reporters Monday.
- For an increasing number of companies, the goal seems to have changed from growing the overall revenue base to taking market share from competitors, as the pandemic is expected to depress spending broadly.
- Corporate leaders are looking to redraw their workforces and cut costs as they expect to be "fighting for a bigger piece of a smaller pie."
What we're hearing: "There’s a sense that 'We’re settled in, the environment’s going to be challenging for a while but we can compete,'" Ryan said. "It’s going to shape up for an interesting, let’s call it, six to 18 months of fairly intense competition."
The big picture: Companies are simultaneously focusing on long-term strategies, many of which include terms like "digital transformation" and "automation" that are generally code for replacing human workers with machines.
- These trends had long been in the works, but with uncertainty growing about global supply chains and the availability of cheap overseas goods and labor, top executives look to be pushing to accelerate them.
The bottom line: "One thing CFOs and executive teams are very focused on is fundamental changes in the business model and we’re seeing that move at a rate that, frankly, we’ve never seen before," Ryan said.