Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts India
The world has changed immensely in the past three years. The changes in terms of technology, its applications and its use by various verticals have fast-tracked post-pandemic. The current speed at which things are moving can be termed warp speed. Warren Bennis, one of the world’s leading experts on leadership says ‘Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.’ This is the role a CEO plays in every organization. It comes with the requirement of being a leader and mentor, taking up formidable responsibilities and challenges. They are visionaries, setting goals and helping to make them a reality. In 2023, CEOs are faced with an extravagant amount of pressure to survive, let alone succeed. A recently published survey says 57% of India’s CEOs are optimistic about economic growth for the next 12 months. But 78% of global CEOs see a decline. Naturally, the trends, challenges and priorities that CEOs focus on will help them ensure their company’s growth and stability. This helps their employees, the vertical and the country’s economic stability.
So, the next big question is: What are the trends, their associated challenges and the reasons why the CEOs need to focus on them in 2023?
1. Sustainable Technologies: The need to support the world’s efforts in achieving Zero Carbon Emission
According to Gartner’s survey, the CEOs’ priority list sees a rise in the position of ‘Environmental Sustainability’ from the 13th position in 2020. It has seen a 292% increase in terms of prioritizing as sustainability is the key to a successful business. Renew, reuse and reduce – this is the mantra that any company’s leadership team needs to focus on. Sustainability is what the customers, government and world organizations are focusing on. Using the cloud, shifting the work online, partnering with energy-efficient data centers and, tracking organizations’ energy consumption with IoT and AI are some of the sustainability technologies that can be utilized. ESG is another element that can help companies focus on achieving sustainability. Sustainable technologies help businesses to use resources more effectively and efficiently. Sustainability is already nearing ‘a must’ for organizations. Prioritizing it is proof that the companies are serious about the environment and the values customers focus on.
2. Digital Transformation: Evolving using NextGen tech tools
According to Gartner’s survey:
a) 60% of the companies have achieved digital business acceleration
b) 19% progressed and some have achieved digital business transformation goals
c) 30% have made advanced progress in achieving digital transformation, and
d) 71% are prioritizing digital economic structure
AI/ML, robotics, blockchain, data & analytics, automation and cloud technology are the NextGen tools used by almost every sector. From startups to agriculture, digital transformation has been the driving force, especially in the new decade. The Union government’s recent announcements during the budget on – utilizing AI, funding research for AI, IoT, 5G, etc. and the number of digital transactions prove that India is digitally transforming from the grassroots level. Why should organizations stay behind in utilizing the same? While the cost of revamping might be a challenge, this is a path every CEO needs to focus on. Those who will go with this flow will help their organizations flourish.
3. Workforce Transformation: Redefining company culture
Gartner’s survey shows that CEOs are prioritizing workforce issues such as talent retention, hiring and DEI. From 5th position in 2020, this trend landed in 3rd position, rising by 32% since 2021. Advancing technology and social changes are pushing for work culture transformation. Every leader concentrates on improving their staff’s current abilities by helping them upskill and reskill. CEOs have a responsibility to help their company grow, this means they need to get to the roots. Setting the right tone for the company is currently what many in the workforce are demanding. The challenge is finding the right tone to define the company culture. This can only be addressed when the HR and leadership team come together and work on identifying the challenges existing within the company. This means talking to staff and understanding how their counterparts in the industry are setting the tone in their organizations. With the right mentoring from senior staff, organizations can beat the ‘silent resignation’ and retain their employees. Supporting a hybrid work environment will not only help employees but also benefit productivity.
4. Economics & Planning: Understanding the global & local finances for better planning
Today’s business outlook is ‘Local is global,’ but that also means that any changes in the global markets affect the Indian market more intensely. So, when it comes to taking decisions on important changes and new business strategies, leaders must take note of market trends; witness and predict the upcoming changes. Organizations can plan their business expansion and market outreach based on the economic climate.
Banking on the below-listed decisions would help companies with their business path:
- Using sustainable technology
- Understanding the tech trends that will benefit in the long run
- Having a handle on hiring and retention
- Cut down on the non-essential and invest only in the essentials
- Revaluating and renegotiating the ongoing and future projects
- Reducing operating costs, raising product and service prices
- Finding the right suppliers at the right costs
- Invest in cyber insurance and cybersecurity to mitigate any losses
5. Prioritizing Customer Experience: Communication & DX the right approach
The Indian market has attained certain stability currently, however, the marketing approach across verticals has transformed. Happy customers lead to happy organizations. Customer retention via communication and digital transformation (DX) tools are now posing as market disruptors. This is leading to a substantial change in how these tools are being formulated and implemented. The renewed focus on customer experience has led to a major transformation in communication and customer services. Naturally, companies invest time and money to excel and achieve profits through ROI. This is exactly why the CEOs need to prioritize formulating the company’s vision and then putting out the message accordingly.