Covid-19 forced organisations to implement a remote working strategy to enable their workforce to work from anywhere, at any time. The challenge was that a lot of businesses were not equipped for this switch. Many didn’t have the networks, the right hardware, or the right software.

Taking another look at our 8 Executive Trends for 2020, it is clear that while much has changed in response to the pandemic, Covid-19 has been a catalyst for rapid changes that were already on the horizon.

A SHIFT IN FOCUS TO DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

It was highlighted in our recent article, The Digitalized CEO [8 Trends], that ‘executive leaders must leverage tech to fulfil business needs, team ambitions, and consumer demands.’ This is reflective of recent market trends.

  • Businesses are choosing to structure their digital and technology teams differently, recognising that digital should sit in technology.
  • There has been a big drive in the sector for more diversity, with a clear focus on female technologists.
  • Finding technologists that worked in business services environments has also been a focus.
  • There has been a shift in what CIOs are looking for from a position, including taking on more CEO responsibilities.
  • There has been a rise in the role of Chief Digital Information Officers (CDIO).
  • More than ever, CEOs are better enabling their digital technology leaders to excel in response to the rapid change in the market and to drive business continuity.

TECH EXPERIENCE OVER SECTOR EXPERIENCE

Historically when considering a role, executives - a CEO, CIO or CDIO for example - would tend to stick within the market that they had worked in previously, and equally, boards wouldn’t look to hire anyone from outside their sector. However, I think this is a big mistake and has seen businesses miss out on exceptional talent.

When recruiting digital technology leaders, hiring decisions must be based on the technology experience that a professional has. This is going to be key moving forward.

INVESTMENT INTO TECH MUST CONTINUE

When a client advises me that their CIOs, CDO, or CDIO has done a bad job, I always ask why have they? Typically, it is down to a lack of investment and organisations are at fault for not enabling their digital technology leaders.

Technology is often viewed by businesses as a cost centre because digital technology leaders ask for more money to implement new technologies. But it is so important to recognise and understand how much that investment will save in the longer term.

While CEOs are providing the investment now, this should not just be the case in response to a crisis. Those organisations that were already operating with the right technology in place have done well in responding to the changing landscape.

Businesses need to continue to back their digital technology leaders and show investment, particularly in the current landscape.

Click to read insights from our technology practice partners from around the world where they share their observations about the trends in tech this year and what you should keep in mind for the future.

If you’d like to discuss the ins and outs of the Digitalised CEO, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Thomas Ferguson

Tom Ferguson
Partner, UK
[email protected]

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