Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Last week Bain & Company published a global survey on banking experiences. Avalara conducted a small survey about attitudes to VAT as its fiftieth anniversary approached. Wunderman Thompson launches its B2B Future Shopper report. The MACH Alliance published the results of its third-annual Enterprise MACHified research. Other research comes from Accenture, Blue Yonder, Esker, Deloitte, Intuit, Kaseya, PDI, Qualtrics, Skillsoft and Zuora


Accenture has published the Accenture Technology Vision 2023, “When Atoms Meet Bits: The Foundations of Our New Reality.” The report explores the technology trends underpinning the convergence of the physical and digital as businesses look to accelerate enterprise reinvention in the here and now.

Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of Accenture Technology, commented, “The next decade will be defined by three mega technology trends—cloud, metaverse and AI—which collectively will collapse the distance of our digital and physical worlds. While generative AI will have a far-reaching impact, leaders must dive in now to achieve its full promise. It will require significant investments in data, people, and customizing foundation models to meet organizations’ unique needs.”

The four key trends identified in the report are:

  • Generative AI: 98% of executives agree that generative AI will spark significant creativity and innovation (98%), and 95% believe it will usher in a new era of enterprise intelligence.
  • Digital identity: The ability to authenticate digital users and assets is now seen by 85% of executives as a strategic business imperative, not just a technical issue.
  • My data, your data, our data: 90% of executives believe data is becoming a key competitive differentiator within organizations and across industries.
  • Our forever frontier: 75% believe that the feedback loop between science and technology is getting faster, with each accelerating the advancement of the other

Accenture Song also published “The Next Billion Consumers: A Fast-growing Opportunity for Digital Commerce” report. The next generation of consumers presents a significant opportunity for global companies, particularly because digital commerce eases some of the traditional barriers to entry in these markets. The research also found that despite digital commerce revenues having quadrupled in these markets since 2017—equating to $211 billion in 2022—most multinationals are not set up to serve these digital-first consumers.

Blue Yonder

Blue Yonder published its 2023 Consumer Sustainability Survey. Based on US respondents only, consumers remain invested in eco-conscious practices. 48% of respondents shared an increased interest in sustainability over the past year, and 44% said it remained the same. Consumers are eager to shop green where possible, even paying more for certain products.

Ed Wong, senior vice president global retail sector leader Blue Yonder, commented, “We’re pleased to see that consumers remain as focused as ever on adopting eco-conscious behaviors, with nearly three-quarters (74%) reporting shopping at retailers with sustainable products in the last six months.

“It is clear that successful, environmentally friendly shopping must be driven by a symbiosis between brands and consumers. We’re deeply encouraged by how many respondents are willing to consider a sustainable product and company across resale and new product sales.”


The latest Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey found CEOs are becoming increasingly optimistic, with 45% expecting strong or very strong growth, while pessimism toward the global economy has declined. There are still concerns, though, with

  • Inflation is the top concern (the percentage wasn’t given)
  • 51% expressed geopolitical instability (down from 48% in Oct 22)
  • 48% expressed Labor/skills shortages instability as a concern (down from 46% in Oct 22)
  • 44% see financial instability as a concern (up from 34% in Oct and from 23% in June 2022)

Jason Girzadas, CEO Elect, Deloitte US, commented, “After what many CEOs agree was another year of disruption and complex challenges, it’s incredibly promising to see increasing optimism among CEOs for the year ahead and expectations that their organizations will continue to grow.

“While inflation and an uncertain economy are certainly on the minds of CEOs, they appear undeterred from prioritizing investments in key areas like core business transformation, talent, and market innovation that may help drive long-term growth.”


The Esker 2023 Survey: Sustainability in the Workplace found:

  • 80% of respondents said it is either “extremely important” (48%) or “somewhat important” (32%) for businesses to “prioritize sustainability practices and values in today’s society.”
  • Women valued sustainability practices more highly than men, with 84% of women calling them important compared to 75% of men.
  • 76% of respondents said that sustainability practices and values are either “much more important” (39%) or “somewhat more important” (37%) to them than they were five years ago.
  • 58% of respondents said they plan to consider a company’s sustainability record in their choice of future employers—up from 44% who considered this before taking their current job.
  • This percentage shot up to 71% for workers under 35, including 81% of women under 35.

When asked, “What specific steps toward sustainability should companies prioritize in 2023?” respondents said companies should:

  • practice energy efficiency (68%),
  • reuse and recycle materials (65%),
  • measure and minimize overall carbon footprint (57%),
  • educate and train employees on sustainability practices (55%),
  • work only with suppliers, partners, and vendors that practice sustainability (48%)
  • reduce paper use (43%).

Jean-Michel Bérard, CEO at Esker, commented, “While some companies might think that cutting back on sustainability initiatives is the safe course in an uncertain economy, we believe there is more risk in turning away from our commitments. Esker embraces sustainability and encourages other companies to do so as well. It’s part of our philosophy of ‘positive-sum growth’—tying our business success not just to our shareholders, but to all our stakeholders, including the communities we serve.”


The Intuit QuickBooks Accountant Technology Survey found that accountants embrace new technology to grow their business and better serve clients. The report, based on a survey of 2,000 accountants in the US, also explores how firms adapt to the decline in the talent pipeline while maintaining a positive outlook on the profession’s future.

91% reported that technology has helped them support their clients’ evolving needs over the past two years. However, doubts and challenges remain, with 31% noting a top concern for adopting technology like AI is trusting the solution can ensure accuracy. Talent is also a problem. Despite the rewards, 94% of respondents reported a dwindling pipeline of young accountants entering the profession. 90% have experienced hiring challenges over the past year.

Jeremy Sulzmann, Vice President, Intuit QuickBooks Partners Segment, commented, “We know accountants are busier than ever – with 43% reporting they serve more than 40 clients – and increasingly, they’re looking to technology to help them be more efficient and better meet client needs.

“As our most valued partners, we wanted to dig deeper into what macro trends are impacting accountants so we can continue to focus on further developing the technology they need most to grow their businesses. In 2019, Intuit declared its strategy to become an AI-driven expert platform, and we’ve accelerated AI innovation at scale to deliver personalized experiences to more than 100 million consumer and small business customers.”


Kaseya published the 2023 MSP Benchmark Report. Key findings included:

  • About 90% of respondents hailed automation as a crucial technology for their business because it improves efficiency, allows them to take on more clients and generates more revenue by automating common processes like endpoint management, monitoring, patching, ticket resolution and even cybersecurity.
  • 64% of the executive and 54% of technician respondents picked automation, including auto-remediation of tickets, as their top RMM feature.
  • In a year-over-year comparison, there is a 15% jump in respondents who chose cybersecurity as the top IT challenge their clients expect to face this year.
  • About 65% of respondents said most, or all, of their clients, have asked for cybersecurity advice.
  • 90% of respondents agree that integration between core applications is critical to their business. It helps them streamline their processes, reduce duplication of efforts and automate repetitive tasks.

Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer and general manager of security products, Kaseya, commented, “This report drives home the importance of automation and integration to make MSPs more productive, efficient and profitable. Cybersecurity will continue to be a pressing issue, and MSPs will need to be up-to-speed on their security offerings to keep pace with SMB demand.”


PDI released its latest foot traffic report, “Tracking Convenience Report: From the Pump to the C-Store,” analysing key findings in the convenience retail and fuel market. Key findings included:

  • Inflation makes an impact: An analysis of convenience store trends throughout 2022 shows that sales growth in dollars was primarily driven by increases in average item price, with spending per basket up 3.0% and average units per basket down 3.9%.
  • Post-COVID, the role of c-stores has become a retail location for extreme efficiency: Today, most shoppers spend under five minutes in the c-store. This creates opportunities for the industry to increase dwell time with evolved offerings like advanced food service, secure Wi-Fi, and more—especially as c-stores attract growing EV-charging consumers.
  • Shoppers expect an excellent physical experience: For example, an above-average rating in outdoor lighting led to a 5.3% increase in foot traffic. In comparison, a below-average rating in the same category caused a proportionately higher (8.5%) decrease in traffic.

Greg Crow, PDI Technologies VP of Insights, commented, “Interestingly enough, it’s a common assumption that almost everything about consumer behavior has changed in the past few years. Our findings reveal that foot traffic habits, including time of day at the pump and popular days of the week, have not shifted much since pre-pandemic. Analyzing how fuel prices influence in-store trips and consumer shopping habits can help convenience store operators make more meaningful engagements with their customers.”  


Qualtrics has published findings about CX in the financial services industry. The report finds that those organisations that see CX as a critical priority (59%) have already improved their CX to a greater degree than laggards.

  • 83% of leaders versus 52% of laggards report having systems that gather customer feedback outside of surveys
  • 88% of leaders versus 57% of laggards report incorporating data from text- or voice-based data sources in their experience programs
  • 89% of leaders versus 54% of laggards report using data modelling to predict customer outcomes like attrition and likelihood to renew.

Human interaction is still important, with the three most important touch points seen as:

  • Interacting in branches (29%)
  • Messaging with a human (21%)
  • Speaking on the phone with a human (16%)

Christopher Colley, global head of industry advisory for Financial Services at Qualtrics, commented,  “When it comes to personal or business finances, feelings play a major role, so having tools to listen to customers and analyze emotion and intent, and then acting on insights uncovered are key to improving customer experience and loyalty. It is crucial that financial services institutions look to maximize value from their customer-focused investments by harnessing data-driven insights to combat the historic challenges facing the industry.”


Skillsoft published its 2023 Women in Tech report. Alarmingly it found that the gender imbalance has grown in technology. 45% of women said they are outnumbered in the workplace, often by 4:1 or greater, up from 25% in 2021. This trend may also be increasing, with 30% of female technologists reporting dissatisfaction with their current growth potential and 36% considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of equity in opportunities.

Orla Daly, Chief Information Officer, Skillsoft, commented, “Despite the efforts of organizations to make diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace a greater priority, our research shows that the gender gap remains quite wide and significant work is needed to achieve true parity at all levels.

“Women in technology are calling for more opportunities to advance their careers via leadership development, technical training, coaching, and mentorship. Meanwhile, organizations are facing a critical need for technology and leadership competencies. This presents a mutual growth opportunity that helps organizations thrive and empowers women to increase their impact by filling these critical gaps.”

The report makes for disturbing reading.


Zuora released its latest Subscription Economy Index (SEI) report, which found subscription-based companies in the SEI have experienced 3.7x faster growth rates than the S&P 500 over the past 11 years. Key findings include:

  • Subscription businesses in the SEI continue to outpace the S&P 500: In 2022, the SEI experienced 12% revenue growth compared to 10.6% for the S&P 500.
  • Even as budgets tighten, churn rates remain relatively consistent: SEI average quarterly churn was 6.36% in 2022 compared to 6.13% in 2018.
  • Subscriber acquisition has been trending up since the pandemic lows: Companies acquired new subscribers at higher rates in 2022 than in the previous two years.
  • Average revenue per account (ARPA) growth continues to show a positive trendline but slowed in 2022: 2022 ARPA growth rates were lower than in 2021, decreasing from 1.89% in Q2 to 0.97% in Q4. ARPA growth can slow when companies offer customers the flexibility to downgrade or pause their subscriptions or when using promotional pricing to attract new subscribers. Both are best practices for adding and maintaining subscribers, especially in an uncertain market.
  • SaaS continues to be the fastest-growing sector in the SEI: The Software as a Service (SaaS) sector outperformed other SEI sectors in 2022, with 12.3% revenue growth on average.

Amy Konary, Founder and Senior Vice President of The Subscribed Institute at Zuora, commented, “Despite economic headwinds, spending habits are still trending positively toward digital services and experiences offered through subscriptions. Recurring revenue models can offer subscribers predictable spending opportunities with clear value and savings over time. Finding ways to be indispensable with products and services that customers value will be key.”

Research from the week beginning 20th March 2023



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