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Top Corporate Executives Expect Rising Costs and Major Business Changes as Pandemic Continues

Last updated:  September 9, 2021

C-Suite leaders in Qualtrics study say huge changes are underway in their workforces, their offices, and the ways they use technology


42% say the pandemic fundamentally changed how they will do business going forward


PROVO, Utah and SEATTLE, Sept. 9, 2021 — Despite reported revenue increases over the past 12 months and projections for further growth, top executives say customers and employees will become more demanding in coming months, and transformations spurred by the pandemic will continue to impact their companies going forward, according to new research from Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM), the leader and creator of the experience management (XM) category. (Study results can be found here)


Three quarters of CEOs and other C-level leaders (77%) say their workforce is in the midst of a dramatic change or will be soon. As a labor shortage continues, the majority expect to increase spending to support remote work, re-train current employees and hire new ones. Sixty-nine  percent say their physical office space will be transformed in the near future. And 51% are currently experiencing a digital transformation, with a focus on new technology and products at a time when demand for virtual services is increasing.


In light of the ongoing spike in COVID’s Delta variant, CEOs and other executives may need to double down on these investments in order to adapt to the ever-changing world of the pandemic.


“These results show that the pandemic has accelerated change and will leave lasting impacts on the world of business,” said Erica Dinger, principal research manager, Qualtrics. “Business leaders are anticipating transformations in three areas: their workforces, their office spaces, and the way they use technology. Despite this, these study results show executives foresee business success as they adjust to meet customer and employee demands following a historic year of change.”


More key takeaways from the study:


  • Executives predict growth: 76% expect their revenue to increase over the next year, and 85% predict moderate to very strong growth
  • Customers and employees will become more demanding: 56% say employees will become more demanding in the coming months. 67% say customers will become more demanding
  • Cybersecurity is a priority: 63% say cybersecurity is very important to their agenda, and 37% say it is a 2021 priority
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is top of mind: 33% are currently experiencing a DEI transformation, and 32% are preparing to experience one
  • Cost of supplies is the greatest threat to success: 39% of executives say that the increased cost in supplies they need for their products poses the greatest threat to their success over the next year



This study was fielded between July 13-15, 2021. Respondents were selected from a randomized panel and considered eligible if they live in the United States and are a CEO or C-Suite executive, including CFO, CIO or CMO. The total number of respondents was 504. Respondents who did not pass quality standards were removed.


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About Qualtrics

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand. Over 13,500 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™)—the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, please visit

Press contact:

Erica Evans