Infrastructure CEOs have some concerns but they are optimistic about their company’s prospects in the coming year. They’re focusing on developing a strong workforce to meet demand, but talent strategies still need to keep up.
Infrastructure CEOs building confidence
Infrastructure CEOs – representing utilities, energy, transportation, healthcare and engineering and construction companies -- are cautiously optimistic about the global economy but show great confidence in their companies. While only 38% say the global economy will improve, closer to 86% express optimism about their own company's prospects for the coming year. But most are watching expenses. In fact, 73% of infrastructure CEOs say they implemented a cost reduction activity over the past year.
Where the public and private sectors meet
With their fate often linked to government, infrastructure CEOs have high expectations. They look to the public sector to develop infrastructure, create a skilled workforce, and ensure financial stability. In fact, 50% of infrastructure CEOs say a top Government priority should be to improve the country infrastructure. Further, 54% say ensuring financial sector stability and access to affordable capital should be a top government priority. Also named a top priority for government is creating a skilled workforce.
Investing in growth markets
When asked which countries are most important for growth in the coming year, 31% of infrastructure CEOs said China. The USA was also seen as important followed by Germany and Brazil.
The way forward -- Technology
Infrastructure CEOs overwhelmingly agree that technology will transform their businesses over the next five years. Technology is already having a deep impact on capital project delivery and cities’ infrastructure. CEOs are planning ways to take advantage of this trend: 84% plan to improve their ability to innovate; 87% plan to change their technology investments; and 87% are exploring better ways of using and managing big data. But there’s a gap between where infrastructure CEOs are now, and where they want to be. Only 17% have already started or completed the changes they’re planning to make their companies more innovative. Only 33% have altered their technology investments, and only 24% have made progress toward harnessing big data. Only 37% say their IT organisation is well prepared to make the needed changes.
Tackling talent shortages
Infrastructure CEOs say they’ll need to change their talent strategies to capitalise on transformative global trends like demographic changes and urbanisation. Only 28% have a change programme underway or completed. Only 37% say their HR organisation is well prepared to make the needed changes.
73%of infrastructure CEOs say their companies cut costs this year.
50%of infrastructure CEOs believe improving the country’s infrastructure should be a top priority for their local governments.
CEO, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC)
CEO, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
Group Chief Executive, Transnet SOC Ltd.