Technology to feature as a focus for CEOs in 2016

Posted on January 14, 2016

Physicist Freeman Dyson once called technology "the mother of civilizations, of arts, and of sciences". In short, it has been pivotal in almost everything we've achieved as a species so far, and it is expected to continue in the same way into the future.

The sentiment was supported by a number of high-ranking professionals in Gartner's recent CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, in which technology-related change was called a "top priority" and a primary tool to achieve growth this year and in 2016.

By surveying 400 senior business leaders around the world, most of whom were from businesses with US$1 billion or more in annual revenue, Gartner found conditions were considered stable enough for strategic investments

In this respect, technological change ranked only behind 'growth' as a priority for these industry-leading executives, as Gartner's Vice President Mark Raskino explained.

"The second-most-important category of business priority for 2015 and 2016 is technology related. This is the highest position we have ever seen for technology in this survey and it's our firm belief that CEOs are more focused on this area than at any time since 1999," Mr Raskino observed.

Many of these changes will likely be in terms of cloud computing, after similar research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlighted the growth of cloud computing in recent times.

However, as a range of online technologies come to the fore, CEOs are planning to form a united front against the growing security risks faced by all industries.

More than three-quarters of respondents (77 per cent) were of the opinion that there are new risks inherent in technology, while 65 per cent said their current risk management strategies are struggling to keep up.

"CEOs are right to be concerned. As products and services become digital they add far greater utility for the customer but also far greater power for those dark forces who might usurp digital control. CEOs and CIOs should collaborate to jolt the executive team out of cyber-risk complacency," continued Mr Raskino.