Beyond tech, CEOs are paying attention to environmental sustainability, which cracked the top 10 priorities for the first time
Business leaders, among CEOs, view artificial intelligence (AI) as the most impactful new technology for the third year in a row.
CEOs do not think the metaverse will help their business, according to new findings from Gartner that surveyed 400 senior executives in the last half of 2021. 63 per cent of CEOS don’t think the metaverse will be applicable to their business, or it is unlikely to be a key technology for their business.
“In the past, some CEOs have embraced new technology ideas perhaps a little too enthusiastically,” said Mark Raskino, research vice president at Gartner. In the case of the metaverse, however, it’s doubtful the respondents who think it very likely to be a key technology for their business are as confident as they appear to be.
“The remaining list of impactful technologies reminds us that ‘new’ is in the eye of the beholder. Neither digitalisation nor e-commerce, in second and fourth place respectively, is very new on a relative basis. Yet these are technologies that many business leaders still perceive as novel and disruptive in their situations.”
Beyond tech, CEOs are paying attention to environmental sustainability, which cracked the top 10 priorities for the first time. Sustainability came in eighth place, up from 14th in 2019.
“As business leaders feel the pressure from key stakeholders to do more on environmental sustainability, they are now treating the needed changes as opportunities to drive business efficiency and revenue growth,” said Raskino.
74 per cent of CEOs agreed that increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts attracts investors toward their companies. Of the 80 per cent of CEOs who intend to invest in new or improved products this year and next, environmental sustainability was cited as the third largest driver, just behind functional performance and general quality. Sustainability also appears as a competitive differentiator for CEOs in 2022 and 2023 – in fact, it is on the same level as brand trust among respondents.
Workforce issues, such as talent retention, moved up in priority for the second year in a row, only slightly behind technology-related issues such as digitalisation and cyber security, and significantly ahead of financial issues such as profitability and cash flow.
“2022 is the year that CEO perspectives truly changed,” said Raskino. “The pandemic gradually brought a number of deep societal trends to the surface, such as a desire to change the way we work and the fragility of long-distance global supply chains. More recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is amplifying macroeconomic factors that CEOs must now deal with, such as inflation.”
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