The Customer-activated Enterprise

Midmarket Insights from the Global C-suite Study

What external forces are demanding the attention of executives of midsize companies? What specific changes are they planning to make within their organizations to continue to thrive in the future? What are the key enablers of a successful transformation?



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Ten years, 17 studies and 23,000 face-to-face executive interviews have given us rich insights into how leaders think. “The Customer-activated Enterprise” is our first simultaneous study of the entire C-suite.

The IBM C-suite Study is a result of analyzing our conversations with 4,183 leaders in 70 countries, including 312 from midsize organizations. We spoke with a cross-section of C-suite executives in more than 20 industries: Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs).

This study offers insight into how these leaders view the world, their priorities and how they are preparing for the future. Three major themes emerged. Today’s C-suite must:

Find out more about the major forces, opportunities and challenges that leaders of midsize organizations believe are transforming their organizations.

For more information on the IBM Institute for Business Value and the Global C-suite Study, visit


63% of midmarket leaders say customers have a major influence on their business

Only 43% of midmarket leaders report having a fully integrated digital and physical strategy in place

Midmarket leaders plan to increase use of digital channels by 45% to engage with customers

[We have] to get closer to the customer with a solid foundation that allows us to innovate. Because we are a small institution in our market, we are more nimble and able to innovate much more quickly than our larger competitors.

CEO, Midmarket Bank, Australia