How do CEOs ensure enterprise value when technology keeps changing?

18 April 2024 • 2 min read

Fast-moving lights on a black background

Business leaders - and CEOs in particular - are under immense pressure to stay current with endless technological change, whilst ensuring the adoption of new technologies will actually deliver value to the top line, bottom line, or both. 

We surveyed 600 CEOs across the UK, US and Netherlands to learn what they’re prioritising in a market that’s constantly moving, and which investments they’re hedging their bets on to deliver maximum value. Download the The CEO Digital Divide report to gauge how you compare.


CEOs are worried about lagging behind


According to our survey, a staggering 62% of CEOs consider lagging behind in technology adoption to be inherently riskier than rushing to implement new technologies, even if it means potentially overlooking security and ethical concerns. Whilst this might make sense in the short-term, continual urgency to keep abreast can lead to hasty decisions that may not serve an enterprise well in the long run - with a real risk that undue haste is simply storing up unforeseen problems for the future.



Short-termism is prevalent among CEOs


The race to equip teams with the most up-to-date tools underscores the relentless drive to boost productivity and outperform competitors. However, the reality is that missteps can easily be made amidst the rush, resulting in data breaches, operational mistakes, and unforeseen delays that inflict more damage than the supposed benefits of speed at all costs. Forward-thinking CEOs would be wise to be mindful of this.

Endless competition appears to have resulted in remarkable short-termism among CEOs, with 58% acknowledging a willingness to trade off long-term value creation for immediate gains. This in turn seems to be causing notable anxiety across c-suites with 55% reporting the swift pace of technological emergence as a cause for concern.


CEOs are willing to invest in technology without a clear ROI


Alarmingly, a majority (64%) of CEOs admit they would invest in new technologies without considering how ROI would be achieved, simply so they felt like they weren't being left behind. This trend underlines a critical need for business leaders to recognise that high velocity in digital often carries tangible costs, including unproven ROI, potential compromises to data security, and heightened vulnerability to emerging cyber threats.


The secret to accelerating value from technology


Unlocking true enterprise value calls for a shift in leadership. The imperative for CEOs is to transition from an "OR" mindset to an "AND" mindset, wherein they embrace approaches that pursue two seemingly contradictory outcomes: speed AND security, small AND scale, as well as innovation AND legacy.

In practical terms, striking this balance involves rigorously evaluating new technologies against robust risk assessment frameworks, and ensuring technology investments align with long-term strategic goals. It also means prioritising cybersecurity and ethical considerations at the outset, so that innovation does not result in slower progress. In doing this, forward-thinking CEOs can set their organisations on a sustainable path toward achieving competitive advantage, securing customer trust, and delivering enduring enterprise value.



600 CEOs are sharing their approaches - good and bad - as they attempt to balance moving at pace with security and returns for their business. Gauge your own progress and the implications of your decisions against C-suite peers. Download the CEO Digital Divide report. 


Related Posts