NTT DATA Research Reveals Shift from Survival to Resilience and Growth

Executives remain optimistic in the face of continued macroeconomic and global disruptions

PLANO, Texas – December 12, 2022 – NTT DATA, a digital business and IT services leader, today released their annual Innovation Index research. The study analyzed executive priorities and challenges as organizations continue to navigate complex business environments caused by evolving economic and geopolitical factors, customer and employee expectations, climate change, supply chain challenges, natural disasters and health crises.

While the current economic climate may create a short-term reduction in investments and temper sentiment, NTT DATA predicts the overall trends are sustainable in the long term. Despite macroeconomic challenges, half of those surveyed are focused on growing the business, followed closely by controlling costs and increasing profitability.

Additional study highlights include:

  • Creating gradual, continuous improvements on existing products is believed to have the most return on investment.
  • While only 41% say they are ‘above average’ when it comes to developing an innovation-focused culture, there has been a 31% rise (to 55%) year-over-year of those who say their organization’s innovation is proactive in setting an agenda for the marketplace.
  • Despite employee engagement and retention increasing as a priority nearly 70% year over year, 45% of employees still feel unfulfilled in their roles.

Executive confidence in light of disruption grew significantly between 2021 and 2022 due to investments in:

  • New reskilling/upskilling initiatives 50%
  • Integration of modern technologies into existing processes 48%
  • Creating new products, services and business models 45%
  • Incorporating new sustainable practices in internal operations 45%
  • Revamping customer service efforts 35%

But familiar concerns persisted about providing high quality experiences to consumers, including the belief that customer wants and needs change too quickly (41%), followed by lack of resources to deliver products and services on time (38%).

Organizations investing in public cloud grew from 58% to 76% year over year and:

  • Mobile applications doubled to 74%
  • Composite applications quadrupled in use to 43%
  • Edge computing tripled to 30%

93% of executives believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be in common use in the next two years. These investments are likely related to the increased priority in operating faster, with 37% reporting that introducing products and services rapidly and delivering a quick, seamless experience across channels are the greatest influences on customer satisfaction and loyalty, only behind product and service quality (48%).

“Strong customer and employee experiences have never been more critical to the bottom line – ensuring a profitable, resilient business starts and ends with the experiences delivered,” said Eric Clark, Chief Executive Officer, NTT Ltd. Americas. “Leaders must embrace flexible digital strategies that allow them to pivot quickly, matching the pace of changing consumer and employee expectations. The business challenges leaders have faced over the past several years aren’t going away – deploying adaptable technology models that meet the evolving needs of modern, digitally minded consumers will help businesses drive long-term revenue growth.”

On the employee side, improving engagement and retention has gained ground with 27% of respondents naming it a priority, up from 16% in 2021. As talent shortages and a competitive labor market continue to be a challenge, more than half invested in tools and work systems to make collaboration easier and launched upskilling and reskilling programs for new and/or existing workers. Both investments are key to driving productivity and align with respondents’ overall push for growth, but the question remains if it will be enough to positively impact the top challenge to employee satisfaction: employees feeling unfulfilled in their roles (45%).

“Digital transformation is a continuous journey, not a one-and-done investment,” said Tanvir Khan, Chief Digital Officer, NTT DATA Services. “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.”

The Innovation Index: Shifting from Disruption to Growth, highlights the top business priorities and challenges over the next two years, analyzing how leaders are adopting emerging technologies, prioritizing data-driven initiatives, and how technology will impact business operations and performance amidst a challenging business landscape.

About the Survey:

NTT DATA, in partnership with Oxford Economics, conducted the survey of 1,000 business and IT executives across 16 industries in North America to find out how organizations are prioritizing digital transformation and innovation initiatives.


NTT DATA is a $30 billion trusted global innovator of IT and business services. We help clients transform through business and technology consulting, industry and digital solutions, applications development and management, managed edge-to-cloud infrastructure services, BPO, systems integration and global data centers. We are committed to our clients’ long-term success and combine global reach with local client service in over 80 countries. Visit or LinkedIn to learn more.  

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