Story image

Lifting the veil on the fears and focuses of the CEO

23 Apr 15

In 2015 and 2016 business growth remains a top priority for CEOs, and technology is seen as a primary tool to achieve this growth, Gartner says.

In fact, most CEOs expect positive business conditions and accelerating technology innovation in 2015, according to a recent survey by Gartner.

The 2015 Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey of 400 senior business leaders in user organisations worldwide was conducted in the last quarter of 2014, asking questions about 2015 and 2016.

Most responding organisations were those with annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

The survey results indicate business conditions are good while not outstanding, and stability is good enough to enable strategic investments. 

"Each year we ask CEOs to state their top five business priorities and this year growth was once again the top priority," says Mark Raskino, Gartner vice president.

"However, explicit mentions of growth were down from last year. We attribute this decline not to less interest in growth, but rather to increasing interest in the mechanism that will create it,” he says.

"The second-most-important category of business priority for 2015 and 2016 is technology related.

“This is the highest position we have ever seen for technology in this survey and it's our firm belief that CEOs are more focused on this area than at any time since 1999," says Raskino.

"When we examine the subtext of the responses, the purpose of CEOs' interest in technology becomes immediately obvious.

“Over half of the responses relate to revenue- and growth-related technology issues such as multichannel, e-commerce and m-commerce," he says.

Customer-facing and analytics capabilities remain in the foreground for most of the survey respondents.

When it comes to top technology investments over the next five years, 37% of respondents ranked customer engagement management (CEM) as the leading technology-enabled business capability, followed by digital marketing at 32% and business analytics at 28%. 

Cloud-based business also now has high recognition, as CEOs come to realise that the cloud is where new disruptive and controlling industry platforms get created, says Gartner.

However, the standout finding from this year's survey was the significant rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), a term that barely garnered any recognition in previous years, according to the analysts.

With digital starting to fundamentally change the nature of industries, CEOs' security and risk concerns are rising, says Gartner.

In fact, 77% of survey respondents agreed with the statement that 'the digital world is creating new types and levels of risk for our business', and 65% felt that 'investment in risk management practices is not keeping up with new and higher levels of risk'. 

Raskino says, "Although this was a partly prompted finding, we also saw strong evidence of this rising concern elsewhere in the responses.

"CEOs are right to be concerned. As products and services become digital they add far greater utility for the customer but also far greater power for those dark forces who might usurp digital control.

“CEOs and CIOs should collaborate to jolt the executive team out of cyber-risk complacency." 

Dimension Data nabs three Cisco partner awards
Cisco announced the awards, including APJ Partner of the Year, at a global awards reception during its annual partner conference.
WatchGuard’s eight (terrifying) 2019 security predictions
The next evolution of ransomware, escalating nation-state attacks, biometric hacking, Wi-Fi protocol security, and Die Hard fiction becomes reality.
Rimini Street hits NZ shores with new subsidiary
The third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP has opened a new Auckland-based office and appointed Sean Jones as NZ senior account executive.
Why the adoption of SAP is growing among SMEs
Small and medium scale enterprises are emerging as lucrative end users for SAP.
Exclusive: How the separation of Amazon and AWS could affect the cloud market
"Amazon Web Services is one of the rare companies that can be a market leader but remain ruthlessly innovative and agile."
HPE extends cloud-based AI tool InfoSight to servers
HPE asserts it is a big deal as the system can drive down operating costs, plug disruptive performance gaps, and free up time to allow IT staff to innovate.
Digital Realty opens new AU data centre – and announces another one
On the day that Digital Realty cut the ribbon for its new Sydney data centre, it revealed that it will soon begin developing another one.
A roadmap to AI project success
Five keys preparation tasks, and eight implementation elements to keep in mind when developing and implementing an AI service.