The strategic drivers CEOs are using to protect, boost margins 

Using automation and digital tools were cited by CEOs as a top strategic driver to boost profit margins, while climate change effects worried executives, according to a post on the website of  accounting firm EY published Jan. 12. 

EY surveyed 305 CEOs belonging to the Forbes Global 2000 as part of its CEO Imperative Study to understand their concerns, strategic drivers and predictions. 

The survey revealed the top three tools CEOs are leveraging to protect and improve profit margins. Using digital platforms to increase customer interactions was cited as the top strategic driver, with 27 percent of respondents selecting it. Twenty-two percent of CEOs said using automation technology to replace high-cost labor and improve scale was a key driver. 

The CEOs surveyed also were asked to assess long-term risks to their business operations. Although the "war for talent" was cited, the acceleration of climate change effects was mentioned twice as much as cost and scouting talent. In fact, 28 percent of CEOs said the increasing focus on environment, social and governance is contributing the most to the changing role of the CEO.

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