CEOs don’t care about mobile, IoT or wearables, says report

You’ve got some more explaining to do if you want a boss to embrace mobile, IoT or wearables as a strategy. A report says many CEOs don’t think they’re ‘very important.’

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Florence Ion

CEOs’ priorities are different from the rest of us when it comes to tech.

For one thing, half of U.S. CEOs worry more about new industry entrants from the technology sector disrupting their businesses, than adopting devices as a strategy, according to a recent survey from analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PWC.

Strategic importance

CEOs aren’t getting over-excited about devices. Investment is being made, but more CEOs thought cybersecurity was strategically more important to them that mobile, IoT and wearables, the survey found.

Mobile gets barely half of CEOs’ attention. Only 55 percent of those polled reckoned mobile tech for engagement with customers is strategically “very important” to their enterprise.


Even less impressive was the IoT, or Internet of Things’ numbers. Not many thought of it as being “very important” with only 29 percent going there.

Wearables had an even more dismal showing in the survey. Just eight percent thought it was “very important.”

However, overall CEOs are “embracing digital technology.” It isn’t going away, in other words. Seventy percent of U.S. CEOs see changes coming in the “core technologies used for production or service provision.”


CEOs are using tech as tools. Technology creates operational efficiencies; data mining and analysis helps the company; decision-making is better with tech; and customer experience and innovation capacity are all seeing investments. This is according to the 2015 US CEO Survey from PWC.

CEOs are embracing big data. Strategic decision-making and risk-taking decisions are improved through the use of technology tools, the respondents said. More than half of the CEOs asked now use such tools.

Wary of new market entrants

But CEOs are worried about threats to business growth. Much of that threat comes from disruption and technology.

CEOs know that they need to keep a wary eye out for direct and indirect competitors, in particular disruptive ones, who emerge onto the scene with technology-based alternatives to their incumbent business models.

These new tech-oriented market entrants worry CEOs. Sixty-three percent of CEOs in the U.S. are concerned about the threat and its potential effect on the individual enterprise’s growth.


So much so that businesses are actively looking for new industries to do business in, and are looking for ways to disrupt their own businesses. For example, drugstores are branching into healthcare.

“U.S. CEOs are widening their use of alliances to secure new technology and speed up innovation,” the report says.

Consumer-facing tech

Technology is important in customer experience. Eighty-five percent of U.S. CEOs think its importance is on par with operational efficiency gains (84 percent); data and data analytics investments (89 percent).

“The thing that’s been driving us has been digital and technology,” said J. Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, in the report.

“It’s driving loyalty and frequency,” he said.

Tech overall

But tech overall is becoming more important to CEOs. “Technologies and the opportunities they represent are migrating to the core of the business where once they may have been treated as ‘bolt on,’” the report says.

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