It’s been a surreal year: retail, energy and leisure industries have been hit by the COVID-19 curve-ball. But it’s a totally different story in the tech sector, as demand surges for rapid, convenient solutions to consumer and employee needs.

In our Eight Executive Trends for 2020, we tapped and tracked the rise of the Digitized CEO, before any of us knew what was about to hit. Nine months on, and this reality has dawned bigger and brighter than ever, especially for leaders in the tech sector.

PUSHING THE DIGITAL ENVELOPE

The pandemic has changed everything from consumer behaviour to profits, personal to professional interactions. Socially distanced and territorially bound, everyone wants a digital solution. Talent is at a premium as tech firms consolidate and other sectors see salaries slide.

Keen to anticipate the next trend, successful tech companies are pushing the boundaries – leapfrogging logistics like relocation challenges. International firms are hunting and hiring disruptive talent from the US when they don’t even have an office here. It’s not rocket science: growth in value from an equity perspective will see shareholders flock towards firms that boom and abandon flat-liners.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

The key to post-pandemic prosperity lies in how a company can evolve its relationship with its clients and employees remotely. Many boards are asking themselves (and their CEOs) how to change their relationships with their clients to maintain loyalty. The heat is on for the CEO – who has to run a tight ship and ensure that everyone is engaged.

GROWING PAINS

Adapting to a boom implies a series of challenges and the boss must make difficult decisions that may initially inflate company costs. It’s a balancing act that requires careful delegation. Tech CEOs are under pressure upgrade internal talent. Hiring a more experienced VP and transferring responsibility are smart moves. Bases must be covered and the CEO can’t be too stretched or lose sight of the competition. It’s vital to envision two years from now while onboarding the talent to get a firm to where it wants to be. While everyone else looks at cost control, a booming tech company must ride the wave: acquiring and converting new business while maintaining talent in a competitive market. In a nutshell, the CEO must think three moves ahead.

THE LONG STORY SHORT

Tech is a key driver in 2020, and CEO candidates should look to firms that deliver the essentials and disrupt to develop tech that changes the way industries work. Work-life balance has also become a hot topic. The CEO of tomorrow needs an engagement strategy up his or her sleeve: tech talent is in high demand and employees want feel part of the company – even at a distance. The formula is simple but complex: transfer responsibility, engage your teams and satisfy customers… and do all of this remotely. For the savvy CEO, the results could be exponentially rewarding.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you’d like to discuss the role of the digitized CEO, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Zuca Palladino

Zuca Palladino
Senior Partner, USA
[email protected]

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