Seven in ten tech industry CEOs believe that business success in the 21st Century “will be defined by more than financial profit”, according to an annual PwC survey.
The consultancy’s 19th global CEO survey finds a tech industry that is more bullish on its prospects than any other sector of the economy.
“This bullishness may be a reflection of tech CEOs seeing the accelerating impact of technology across all industries,” PwC said.
The survey finds 90 percent of CEOs expecting to increase sales this year, and 94 percent expecting to increase revenue in the next three years.
“Tech CEOs see the glass as half-full, rather than half empty,” PwC said.
“They are confident in their industry’s and businesses’ growth opportunities while being mindful of both new and ongoing challenges presented by today’s global economy.”
Some of those challenges were laid bare in a LinkedIn post, which presents a slightly different view of the tech sector.
LinkedIn recently suffered a 44 percent loss in its share price in a single day, after revenue forecasts that were well below expectations.
Similarly, Tableau Software – which makes data visualisation tools – saw its share price cut in half in a single day after posting its own bleak numbers.
Twitter has lost about half its market capitalisation over the past eight months, while IT security firm FireEye is down about 40 percent since the beginning of the year, as its financials fail to impress.
The financial cloud hanging over many of the tech industry’s big names has renewed speculation that the technology industry might be cooling off.
At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Airbnb CTO Nathan Blecharczyk predicted that some companies currently heralded as unicorns – that is, privately-backed with valuations over US$1 billion – “won’t survive” the current bloodletting.
Such numbers and economic pessimism also challenge the idea – at least for the CEOs of listed tech companies – that they might be able redefine the KPIs of success, as the PwC survey suggests.