Digital Skills Gap

Do CEOs have the digital skills needed to accelerate enterprise value?

19 April 2024 • 2 min read

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Business leaders are increasingly recognising that their investment into new technologies might be being undermined by the lack of corresponding digital skills within their organisations.

To understand the skills gap challenges they’re facing - and how that's impacting their ability to deliver value - we polled 600 CEOs across the UK, US, and Netherlands. See how your organisation compares, and make informed decisions based on peer data. Download The CEO Digital Divide report. 


A majority of CEOs feel they lack the requisite digital skills


The digital skills gap poses a significant challenge to organisations striving to maximise their potential. Our recent polling reveals a concerning sentiment: approximately two-thirds (64%) of CEOs see themselves as 'analogue leaders in a digital age'. This self-assessment could well be reflective of a type of imposter syndrome infiltrating boardrooms worldwide, with women especially vocal about their perceived lack of digital skills compared to their male counterparts. 

This mismatch between current leadership capabilities and the demands of a world in which every company is now a software company (whether they realise it or not) has emerged as a critical concern. There's a palpable eagerness among leaders to close this gap, which translates into a broader ambition of nurturing digital skills throughout their organisations.


Many CEOs doubt they have the digital skills to lead their company to growth


Further delving into our data, we find that over one-third (34%) of CEOs doubt that their own digital knowledge is enough to lead their company successfully through its next growth phase. This uncertainty is more pronounced among female CEOs, 46% of whom share such concerns, highlight a stark gender disparity and, possibly, a shift towards an emerging group of more technologically savvy leaders in the future.


Most CEOs are proactively tackling their own digital skills gap


Nevertheless, many CEOs are taking a proactive approach to overcome these limitations. Encouragingly, 78% of executives reported enrolling in digital skill courses this year, recognising that attempting to accelerate enterprise value through technology will not be effective without skilled people and teams to catalyse and sustain it.

The secret to accelerating value through digital skills


For businesses, change isn't simply a risk; it's an ongoing reality that demands the talents of strategic and digitally-equipped people. By investing in the right tech talent, organisations aren’t just preparing to navigate today’s challenges; they're laying the groundwork for continuous innovation and long-term success. After all, the collective capacity to solve complex problems, transform organisations, and innovate correlates directly with the organisation's ability to adapt and thrive in markets that are continually changing.

Closing the digital skills gap isn't merely a means to an end - it's a strategic investment in any organisation’s future. For CEOs and other senior leaders, adapting to continual change is more critical than ever, therefore equipping their teams with the necessary skills not only secures a competitive edge but accelerates value creation, ensuring resilience and prosperity in an increasingly digital-driven world.



From the "analogue CEOs" to the skills-gap insecurities that are limiting the nation's leaders: we're rounding up the digital data from 600 CEOs. Gauge your own progress among C-suite peers in the UK, US and Netherlands, in the CEO Digital Divide.  

Digital Skills Gap

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