After dealing with uncertainty over the past two years, organizational resilience and innovation is paying off. Overall, executives today are more hopeful about the future and focused on driving growth, controlling costs and improving productivity. Developing engaging customer and employee experiences continues to be key. Discover the digital strategy, investment and innovation lever business and IT leaders are pulling for success.

Despite continued disruption, executives are less concerned about potential negative impacts from workplace, supply chain and competitive disruption. Investments in reskilling employees, modernizing processes and technologies, and creating new products and services have left respondents feeling better prepared to meet the priorities and challenges ahead.

How Executives Drive Growth

At a Glance

50%

Invested in new reskilling initiatives

48%

Integrated modern technology into processes

45%

Created new products, services and/or business models

45%

Incorporated sustainable practices into internal operations

35%

Revamped our customer service efforts

With bolstered business resilience, many organizations have shifted their focus to growth, profitability and productivity. 51% of respondents say that growing the business is their top organizational goal for the next two years, followed by improving profitability (48%) and increasing process efficiency (45%). Organizational strategic planning is increasingly long-term, while innovation focused on gradual, continuous improvement on existing products and services is believed to deliver the greatest return on investment, according to 42% of respondents.

Even as executive confidence is growing, organizations continue to face significant—and now familiar—challenges, including integrating legacy technologies, driving compelling customer experiences and using data effectively for decision-making. Employees still feel unfulfilled in their roles as employers struggle to provide positive organizational purpose, culture and leadership.

say growing the business is a top priority over the next two years

Familiar Challenges Persist

Our research found these four challenges are still hampering businesses.

Leaders Are Better Prepared to Grow


Leaders in our study who focused on four key factors over the past two years—value and speed, resiliency, insights and a winning workforce—are ahead of the game. They are more likely to have seen profitability over 25% during the past two years and have a better focus on innovation-focused culture (52% vs. 40% non-leaders). They’re also more able to deliver speed of service, drive operational cost reductions, use data to inform decision-making and offer flexible work options for their employees.

The Rise of the Digital Enterprise

As organizations shift their focus from disruption to growth and accelerate their plans to deliver new digital experiences and hybrid workplace models in pursuit of market growth, four technology focus areas stand out year after year:


Cloud icon arrow up

Public cloud investment grew from 58% to 76%

Mobile icon

Mobile application use doubled to 74%

Sitemap icon

Composite application use quadrupled to 43%

Microchip icon

Edge computing tripled to 30%

In terms of future focus, AI is one area where most organizations are placing a sizeable bet, with 93% of executives expecting AI to be in common use within the next two years.

Tanvir Ali Khan, NTT DATA Services

Digital transformation is a continuous journey, not a one-and-done investment. While there are obstacles along that journey, leaders who prioritize sustainable tech investments and deliver better digital experiences will be poised to disrupt their markets and drive more valuable outcomes—outpacing the competition when it comes to growth, customer satisfaction and retention, and the ongoing talent wars.

Tanvir Khan, Chief Digital Officer, NTT DATA
Innovation index report cover

Learn more about how business and IT leaders are shifting their focus from managing disruption to achieving growth.