Digital business is still a top priority for CEOs, says this year’s Gartner’s CEO Survey, but it also noted several important shifts in executives’ perspectives. The most significant change was how workforce-related issues now represent one of the biggest challenges for CEOs today.
In the survey, a total of 64% of respondents said they have a management initiative or transformation programme to make their business more digital. Of these, just over half claimed that the objective of the initiative is transformation rather than optimisation.
Naturally, executives are planning to invest more in information technology and are seeking to scale up digital revenues. The top priorities listed in the report reflect the desire of CEOs to change the deeper engine of the business rather than driving it harder for incremental growth.
How can companies achieve their transformation goals?
One of the most significant shifts was the attitude of CEOs towards workforce and talent issues, placing these significantly higher on their list of priorities in 2018. This change could be explained by the lack of technology-related talent, which is crucial to accompany organisations’ transformation initiatives.
To address workforce-related issues – identified as their most significant constraint to growth – and improve talent and labour capabilities at many levels, the survey recommends that companies transform their talent base through reskilling, development and culture change.
Noting that talent development in technology-related roles should be the number one priority, Gartner concludes that companies can create a talent school that internally develops more talent than they need, thus supporting their innovation management programme and digital transformation strategy.