Skip to main content

Growth: Why CEOs Crave Digital Transformation Results

Digital transformation fuels upside market opportunities, and related growth goals are now the CEO's top business priority, according to the latest worldwide study by Gartner. Moreover, a growing number of CEOs will focus more on financial priorities -- especially profitability improvement.

The annual survey of CEO and senior business executives in the fourth quarter of 2018 examined their business issues, as well as some areas of technology agenda impact. In total, 473 business leaders of companies with $50 million or more -- and 60 percent with $1 billion or more -- in annual revenue were qualified and surveyed.

Digital Business Market Development 

"After a significant fall last year, mentions of growth increased this year to 53 percent, up from 40 percent in 2018," said Mark Raskino, vice president at Gartner. "This suggests that CEOs have switched their focus back to tactical performance as clouds gather on the horizon."

The survey results showed that a popular solution is to look in other geographic locations for growth. Responses mentioned other cities, states, countries and regions, as well as 'new markets' would also include some geographic reach -- although a new market can also be industry-related, or virtual.

Twenty-three percent of CEOs see significant impacts arising from recent developments in tariffs, quotas and other forms of trade controls. Another 58 percent of CEOs have general concerns about this issue, suggesting that more CEOs anticipate it might impact their businesses in the future.

Another way that CEOs seem to be confronting softening growth prospects and weakening margins is to seek diversification -- which increasingly means the application of 'digital business' to offer new products and revenue-producing channels.

Eighty-two percent of Gartner's survey respondents agreed that they had a management initiative or transformation program underway to make their companies more digital -- that's up from 62 percent in 2018.

Cost management has risen in CEO priorities. When asked about their cost-control methods, 27 percent of respondents cited technology enablement, securing the third spot after measures around people and organization, such as bonuses and expense or budget management.

However, when asked to consider productivity and efficiency actions, CEOs were much more inclined to think of digital business technology as a tool. Forty-seven percent of respondents mentioned technology as one of their top two ways to improve productivity.

According to the Gartner assessment, digital business planning must include the whole executive committee. However, the survey results showed that CEOs are concerned that some of the executive roles do not possess strong or even sufficient digital skills to face the future.

On average, CEOs believe that sales, risk, supply chain and human resource officers are most in need of more digital expertise. And, once all executive leaders are more comfortable with the digital sphere, new capabilities to execute on their business strategies will need to be developed.

Outlook for Digital Transformation Skills Development

When asked which organizational competencies their company needs to develop the most, 18 percent of CEOs named talent management, closely followed by technology enablement and digitalization (17 percent) and data centricity or data management (15 percent).

"Datacentric decision-making is a key culture and capability change in a management system that hopes to thrive in the digital age. Executive leaders must be a role model to encourage and foster data centricity and data literacy in their business units and the organization as a whole," Mr. Raskino concluded.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Healthcare and Smart City Apps Drive 5G IoT

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology for cellular networks is a successor to fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. By 2023, Juniper Research anticipates that there will be over 1 billion 5G connections globally. The technology will provide the data infrastructure for the advancement of wireless communications and for new developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) -- including smart cities and healthcare. 5G IoT Market Development According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, 5G IoT connections will reach 116 million globally by 2026 -- that's increasing from just 17 million connections in 2023. Juniper analysts predict that the healthcare sector applications and government or other smart city services will drive this outstanding 1,100 percent growth over the next three years. Juniper examined 5G adoption across key industry sectors -- such as the automotive, mobile broadband, and smart homes -- and forecasts healthcare and smart cities will accoun

How Savvy Leaders Re-Imagine Work in 2023

As we look to the year ahead, there will be significant challenges and opportunities facing the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) role. In order to be successful, savvy HR leaders must be prepared to take proactive steps that adapt and evolve. "HR leaders have faced an increasingly unpredictable environment amid many organizations mandating a return to office, permanently higher turnover and burnt out employees," said Emily Rose McRae, senior director at Gartner . HR Innovation Market Development One of Gartner's key predictions for 2023 is that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will continue to increase within the enlightened digital workplace. This transition will require HR leaders to develop new skills and competencies in order to effectively manage and lead teams that are increasingly relying on these enabling technologies. Additionally, HR leaders will need to ensure that their organizations are investing in the necessary infrastructure and re

Top 10 CFO Priorities Require Rethinking Finance

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role is essential to digital business growth. While CFOs do not get closely involved in the tactical details of the digital transformation of their functions, they still recognize its strategic importance. According to the latest survey by Gartner, CFOs are faced with the challenge of balancing the need for substantive digital business innovation with financial cost control and risk management. "CFOs will be stretched thinly across many activities in 2023. The survey revealed a wide range of actions CFOs plan to either lead or be significantly involved with," said Marko Horvat, vice president at Gartner. Survey Findings: The Top Ten Priorities Cost Optimization - Cost reduction remains the top priority for CFOs as they look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency in their operations. This includes identifying cost-saving opportunities through automation, outsourcing, and business process improvement. Business Continuity - The global C