One of the most influential global studies
on technology strategy.
Almost nine in ten digital leaders believe that major global change is happening faster than ever.
Where once disruption might have been a term reserved for new entrants in the market or a competitor’s new products, it now comes from all directions including geopolitics, supply chains and ‘the great resignation’.
As the world grows more interconnected, one region can have direct implications for other geographies.
Digital leaders are facing economic pressure, those expecting budget growth has dropped from six in ten to just over half.
That said, this remains the third highest reading in the 17 years we have been measuring it.
When it comes to the economy, technology has a role to play both when the sun shines, and when the clouds gather.
Managing cybersecurity has never been more challenging.
The increased use of the cloud and global unrest have led to 40% of our respondents fearing an attack from foreign powers – over three times what it was in 2018.
Overall, major cyberattacks have jumped by almost a fifth in the last 12 months, and only around a third of organisations consider themselves ‘very well’ positioned to deal with the challenge.
There is no let-up in the war for talent.
Up to 70% of this year’s digital leaders state that a skills shortage prevents them from keeping up with the pace of change; the highest we have seen since we started reporting 24 years ago.
Six in ten feel the rising cost of living has made salary demands unsustainable.
However it isn’t all doom and gloom, remote working has enabled a quarter of organisations to start recruiting talent from overseas.
The market for talent is now global.
Tech spend on cloud remains strong, but it has slowed in emerging tech like artificial intelligence (AI), automation and big data, threatening opportunities to innovate through global economic instability.
Although almost two-thirds of digital leaders think that big data and analytics will be in the top 2 technologies to deliver competitive advantage in the next year, only a fifth feel that they are effective at using data insights to generate more revenue.
During the depth of the pandemic, technology that enabled remote working kept many organisations alive.
But is the honeymoon period over?
Work-life balance remains a key positive of hybrid working, but productivity has dropped significantly this year.
Many organisations are thinking very carefully about how they support their employees as they move into a hybrid working model, and many are targeting wellbeing and mental health, with some success.
At last, some positive news in gender diversity – almost a quarter of the tech team is now female, and the pipeline is improving, with 28% of new hires being female.
Female digital leader respondents to our survey are now at the highest level there has ever been, but the figure is still low (14%), and the overall pace of change in female participation is slow.
It’s never been easy being a digital leader.
The challenge for many is to balance what’s urgent and what’s important, and for many, dealing with cloud, cyber and resourcing is enough to be getting on with.
But what this research shows over its 24 years of running, is that the really successful digital leaders look beyond what is immediately in front of them.
While cloud will keep you alive today, it is data, innovation and diversity that will help you flourish in the future.