Corporate America’s tech leaders show a continued fondness for buzzword bingo, a new survey from KPMG suggests.
The professional services and consulting giant’s “Digital to the core” report, posted Thursday, finds strong interest in eight of today’s most-hyped tech trends: cryptocurrencies, the metaverse, Web3, NFTs, quantum computing, virtual and augmented reality, 5G, and edge computing.
“Approximately seven in 10 companies expect to have a significant presence in these major technologies within the next two years, with high levels of investment planned,” the report notes. “In the next two years, 58% of respondents plan to invest in the metaverse and 62% plan to invest in Web3.”
Many of those concepts have drawn a fair amount of skepticism if not outright scorn. For example, in June Bill Gates ridiculed cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens as examples of “the Greater Fool Theory.” And ambitions to build the metaverse—what we used to call immersive virtual words before Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg leapt on the term as he renamed Facebook to Meta—assume a level of consumer interest that may not be there.
KMPG’s report does note two signs of hedged metaverse bets, with 65% of companies saying “they are waiting for competitors to invest in and/or adopt the technologies before investing themselves” and 31% saying that they will start making metaverse investments “When our customers demand products and services that rely on.”
This survey, the latest in series from KPMG, separately finds that a lack of talent remains the biggest obstacle to companies adopting new digital technologies, with 44% of respondents citing that as a challenge, followed by “Lack of skills within our organization to either implement or fully take advantage of new systems” and “High cost of purchasing and implementing new systems,” each cited by 30% of respondents.
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There’s also a notable level of anxiety about cybersecurity, with KPMG suggesting that companies aren’t learning the lessons of “supply chain” attacks. As the report notes: “Dependency on third parties is least among cyber security challenges (16%); third-party requirements are the smallest driver of cyber security investments (21%); and third-party/vendor security management is the last cyber area where organizations plan to increase investments in the next 18 to 24 months (12%).”
KPMG surveyed 1,052 US tech executives “in public, private, and government/nonprofit organizations spanning eight industry sectors” from May to June. Of those execs, 52% led tech teams at organizations with more than 10,000 employees, and 97% of the organizations represented had annual revenue of above $1 billion.
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