Global Cost Survey 2019

Save-to-transform as a catalyst for embracing digital disruption

Digital disruption, technology, and innovation are among the most powerful forces shaping the global marketplace and competitive landscape. Companies today need to harness those forces to their own advantage, using digital technologies to transform how they operate—streamlining their cost structures and generating strategic cost savings that are both significant and sustainable.

This report provides an up-to-date view of the cost management practices and trends shaping the future of business globally. The survey included responses from 1,219 executives directly involved in cost management in their organizations.

In today’s increasingly digital world, more and more businesses also recognize the need to transform their operations and capabilities with infrastructure investments in key digital innovations such as robotic process automation, cognitive technologies, business intelligence, and cloud-based ERP systems.

Companies in all regions continue to have very positive expectations for revenue growth, and many are using cost reduction as a tool to help fund their required growth investments.

Main highlights

  • Cost reduction continues to be a standard business practice in all regions: 71% are planning to undertake cost reduction initiatives over the next 24 months.
  • Growth expectations remain very positive: Globally, 86% of respondents saw their revenues increase over the past 24 months, and the same number expect their revenues to increase over the next 24 months.
  • Technology capabilities are the primary development focus: companies have primarily been focusing on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI), ERP infrastructure, and especially automation.
  • Cloud leads the pack: Globally, cloud is the most widely implemented digital technology covered by our survey, up to 49%, well ahead of business intelligence (35%), automation (25%), and cognitive/AI (25%).
  • Digital leaders make a difference: Companies with a designated digital leader report much higher levels of technology implementation on average 140% higher (across all technologies reviewed).
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