CEO priorities: talent, cultural change, digital initiatives and innovation
- 4 May, 2018
- Posted by: CIIC
- Category: ICCI - Innovation Centre
A Gartner report that surveyed nearly 500 executives found that CEO priorities are changing to embrace e-Business.
What are the main concerns of a CEO in 2018? Gartner has the answer. The consulting firm has conducted a report that surveyed 460 senior executives (with more than $50 million in annual revenues) during the fourth quarter of last year to examine their business problems, including the impact of their technology agendas.
The key idea of the study is clear: while it is difficult to achieve growth for a company, managers focus on improving the structure of their companies, especially in digital business. Information technology remains a high priority for the CEO, with particular mention of the digital transformation.
“Although growth remains the CEO’s top priority, there was a significant drop in this year’s statements, from 58% in 2017 to only 40% in 2018. This does not mean that CEOs are less focused on growth, but it shows that they are changing their perspective on how to achieve it,” said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “The ‘corporate’ category, which includes actions such as new strategy, corporate partnerships and mergers and acquisitions, has increased significantly to become the second highest priority”.
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The workforce has grown rapidly this year to become the fourth highest priority, compared to last year when it was in seventh place. Moreover, the number of executive directors who mentioned the workforce as one of their top three priorities increased from 16 to 28 percent. When asked about the most important internal constraints to growth, employee and talent issues were at the top. The CEOs said the lack of talent and workforce capacity is the biggest inhibitor of digital business progress.
CEOs also recognize the need for cultural change, a key aspect of the digital transformation. The Gartner CIO 2018 Survey found that the CIOs agreed that it was a high priority concern, but only 37% of CEOs said a significant or profound culture change is needed by 2020. However, when companies that have a digital initiative in place are compared to those that do not, the proportion of people in need of cultural change increased to 42%. “The most important cultural changes we have seen are that CEOs want to make culture more proactive, collaborative, innovative, empowered and customer-centric. They also value the move to a more digital and technology-centric culture,” Raskino said.
As to whether respondents had a management initiative or a transformation programme to make their business more digital, 62% said yes. Of these organizations, 54% indicated that their digital goal is transformational, while 46% said the goal of the initiative is optimization.
When asked to describe their top five business priorities, the number of respondents who mentioned the word digital at least once increased from 2.1% in the 2012 survey to 13.4% in 2018. In fact, 61% of respondents intend to increase spending on IT this year, while 32% plan to make no changes in spending, and only 7% plan to cut spending.
Innovation was also one of the most frequently mentioned points. The survey showed that the percentage of respondents who think their company is a pioneer in innovation has peaked at 41% compared to 27% in 2013.
“CIOs should build on this sentiment by encouraging their business leaders to make commitments to the e-business changeover,” said Raskino. “However, superficial digital change can be a dangerous form of self-deception. The CEO’s commitment must be based on deep fundamentals, such as real customer value and a disciplined economy.