What's The Future for CEOs in 2021? Predictions from the Experts – Mahmoud Khattab

CEOs are, on average, concerned about and focused on three major global trends: disruptive technologies, disruption to the business model, and societal disruption.

Digital: CEOs are increasing investments in digital capabilities such as IT systems, CRM and BI as well as technology and IT services. They also plan to invest in customer engagement, sales enablement, delivery infrastructure, analytics and cybersecurity.

Disruption: Global CEOs see that business model changes, consumer behaviour and societal disruption will drive disruption. However, CEOs say that this disruption is not necessarily more disruptive than in the past. Social impact:

CEOs see an opportunity to create societal change

CEOs are increasingly investing in digital initiatives. For example, 63 percent of CEOs in the 2019 Gartner CEO Survey cited digitalization as a “significant area of investment in the coming year.” And, although CEOs are expanding their digitalization investments across all business functions, digitalization in sales and marketing is a priority. Read more about Mahmoud Khattab

New Segments

According to the research, 91% of CEOs plan to add a new technology to their portfolios in the next three years. “The new technologies represent a dramatic shift for many CEOs,” said Terry Wohler, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Only a few years ago, CEOs focused on enterprise IT as a competitive differentiator and as a tool for generating growth, particularly in mature and cyclical sectors.”

That is now changing. CEOs are using technology to drive growth in growing segments such as digital business services, cybersecurity, digital marketing, Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, as well as cloud services. “We are also seeing an increased emphasis on social business,” Wohler said.

Industry shifts

The survey, which is based on responses from 379 chief executive officers, finds that while technology-driven change continues, the global economy will accelerate. Dennis Polk, research vice president at Gartner, said, “In many ways, the issues of the past decade will have been boiled down to sustainability, security and trust.”

The executives are also viewing the shift to the next generation of the workforce with interest and have already begun experimenting with applications and capabilities.