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Business Leaders are More Hopeful on Industry Shifts in 2018, According to Seyfarth Shaw Future Enterprise Survey


Survey respondents in sectors ranging from finance and technology to real estate and health care shared opinions on the changes and challenges their companies face.

May 15, 2018 – According to survey findings released today by Seyfarth Shaw, the majority of business leaders are more “hopeful” about the future of enterprise than last year, with 84 percent expressing optimism compared to 70 percent in 2017.

As work, business, and the economy continue to be transformed by emerging technologies and cultural shifts, Seyfarth once again took the pulse of business leaders to see how they are adapting to this rapidly changing business landscape. From talent readiness to cybersecurity, Seyfarth’s Future Enterprise survey report reflects today’s top-of-mind issues for industry leaders across the country.

“The survey results reflect the sentiment of today’s national business community towards the impact of emerging technologies likely to affect their industries, such as robotics, AI, big data and blockchain,“ said Seyfarth Corporate partner Andrew Sherman.

“Equipped with a growing economy and another year to digest the impact of the future enterprise, business leaders are more optimistic about impending generational shifts and are even developing a variety of innovative initiatives designed to embrace the ever-changing landscape,” said Seyfarth Litigation partner Giovanna Ferrari.

From 190-plus respondents, key findings of the Future Enterprise survey include:

  • Blossoming Hope: 84% of respondents are hopeful about future changes to the workplace, compared to 70% in 2017.
  • Talent Trouble: More than half (59%) of business leaders surveyed echoed last year’s greatest management challenge — finding and keeping good employees.
  • Breach Concerns: 45% of 2018 respondents, as opposed to just 24% in 2017 — feel cybersecurity will pose their greatest challenge in the next five years.
  • Bearish on Bitcoin and Blockchain: Despite the media buzz about bitcoin and blockchain, less than 10% of business leaders are currently using either.
  • AI Improves Business Operations: Over the next five years, automation and artificial intelligence will have the biggest impact on business operations and processes, according to 62% of survey participants.

See full survey results and verbatims at

“Last year we broke new ground with the launch of our Future of Work survey, shedding acute insights on how companies are responding to new technology and the demands of a multigenerational and global workforce,” said Laura Maechtlen, chair of Seyfarth’s Labor & Employment department. “We were excited to expand this year’s survey with additional insight on the management issues that challenge a broader representation of today’s industries, and the legal issues impacting business as a whole--from workplace, to real estate, business services and more.”


Seyfarth surveyed in-house legal and business leaders via an online survey for a three-week period between February and March 2018. A total of 193 respondents completed the survey. Respondents included General Counsel, Directors of HR, Associate General Counsel, HR Managers, Presidents, Senior Counsel, VPs, and a number of other roles. Verbatim responses were edited for length and clarity.

About Future Enterprise

As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies become more common and the needs of the massive multigenerational global workforce begin to shift, business and legal leaders must invest in strategies that will support building new capabilities at the cross-section of people power and machine power. Future Enterprise by Seyfarth Shaw is a multi-disciplinary cross-departmental resource for in-house legal and business leaders to navigate issues related to those emerging technologies. It leverages each and every department, practice group and industry group in the firm.

About Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw has more than 850 attorneys in 15 offices providing a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. Seyfarth’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and reflect virtually every industry and segment of the economy. A recognized leader in delivering value and innovation for legal services, Seyfarth has earned numerous accolades from a variety of highly respected industry associations, consulting firms and media.


Brian Kiefer, Director of Public Relations, (312) 460-6401,

Martin Grego, Public Relations Manager, (312) 460-6659,