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The emerging tech landscape is perenially noisy — and overhyped. Companies first need to develop a clear set of problems they are trying to solve, or experiences they are trying to create, for internal or external customers. This report collects advice from 200-plus corporate professionals, along with senior leaders at Best Buy, Fidelity Investments, AmerisourceBergen, iRobot, MetLife, and other large organizations.

Four powerful dynamics are at play in today’s landscape:

  1. Record amounts of venture capital funding are pouring into the global startup ecosystem.
  2. Established technology vendors are increasingly placing big bets on emerging technologies, and using their throw weight to promote them (as one example, Facebook recently changed its name to Meta to emphasize the “metaverse.”)
  3. Customers expect their interactions with all companies — not just nimble startups — to be frictionless, accessible 24/7, and predominantly digital, whether that involves texting, speaking, or clicking.
  4. Supply chain disruptions and hiring/turnover challenges are intensifying the demand for solutions related to sourcing, recruiting and retention, automation, and operational efficiency.

This research initiative is a continuation of our CxOs & Innovation series. The objective: to be helpful to C-suite leaders and other professionals responsible for evaluating new technologies and leveraging them to drive growth, competitive advantage, and stronger customer relationships. (Earlier reports in the series include The New Imperatives: Innovation, Agility, and OpennessThe Changing Role of the InnoLead, and A New Vision for Corporate Innovation.)

This 35-page mini-report includes data from a survey fielded in September and October 2021. We also conducted qualitative interviews with leaders in a range of industries, from retail to financial services to distribution to technology.

This research project was produced by InnoLead and sponsored by KPMG LLP.


KPMG Insights
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Sample Data from the Report


Table of Contents

Welcome Letter 3

About this Project 5

Executive Summary 6

Clear Criteria are Missing at Most Companies 7

Comments: Criteria for Prioritizing Emerging Tech 8

Executive Perspective: Best Buy 11

How Do You Identify Emerging Technologies Worth Exploring? 12

Which Sources are Most Useful? 13

Executive Perspective: Retail Business Services 14

Why Do Emerging Technology Projects Get Killed? 15

Comments: Why Do Projects Get Killed? 16

Executive Perspective: iRobot 17

Innovation Metrics That Matter to Senior Leadership 18

Executive Perspective: Dell Technologies 19

KPMG Insight: Make the Right Bets on Emerging Technologies 20

Executive Perspective: AmerisourceBergen 23

Where Emerging Tech is Expected to Have an Impact 24

Executive Perspective: Fidelity Investments 25

Key Questions: How Do Priorities Get Set? 26

Key Questions: What’s the Defined Need or Opportunity? 27

Executive Perspective: MetLife 28

About the Respondents 29

Executive Perspective: PTC 33

About KPMG, Our Research Sponsor 34

About InnoLead Research 35


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