May 11, 2021

Gartner survey shows CEO’s split opinions over economic boom

Strategy
CEO
Tilly Kenyon
2 min
The annual Gartner 2021 CEO Survey has given insight into how businesses are expecting the next two years to turn out
The annual Gartner 2021 CEO Survey has given insight into how businesses are expecting the next two years to turn out...

A new survey carried out by Gartner found hundreds of CEO’s are expecting an economic boom in 2021 and 2022 after the past year saw significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual Gartner 2021 CEO Survey was conducted between July 2020 to December 2020 among 465 actively employed CEOs and other senior business executives in North America, EMEA, and APAC across different industries, revenue, and company sizes. 

The survey found, 60% expected an economic boom while 40% predicted stagnation in 2021 and 2022. When asked whether companies would return to or exceed 2019 revenue levels this year, 35% of respondents agreed. 

Respondents acknowledged that certain things have changed permanently due to the adjustments that were made during the pandemic. Gartner asked about priorities and potential changes in the future, the vast majority of respondents mentioned technology, with one in every five CEOs using the word ‘digital’ in their responses. 

“More use of digital technology and the demand for digital channel flexibility are also within the top three anticipated shifts in customer behavior. This suggests that continuing to improve the way customers are served digitally will be vital,” said Kristin Moyer, Research Vice President, Gartner.

Consumer demand 

Many CEOs expressed concern about consumer demand, which some expect will still be restrained even once the effects of the pandemic have eased. For the travel industry specifically, CEOs told Gartner they expected it to stay limited both among consumers and chief financial officers sharing out funds for company-related expenditures.

"This year, all leaders will be working hard to decode what the post-pandemic world looks like and redeveloping mid-to long-range business strategy accordingly. In most cases, that will uncover a round of new structural changes to capability, location, products, and business models." said Mark Raskino, research vice president at Gartner. 

As vaccination numbers increase and some parts of life return to normal, more than 80% of CEOs said they expect some changes in behavior to stay, most notably hybrid work environments. 

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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