Gartner has published its 2018 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey 2018 and while growth is still the focus of many chief executive officers, more are asking how to achieve that growth.

The survey polled 460 business leaders from organisations that have an annual revenue of at least $50 million.

Growth is a big priority but as Gartner points out, it is being mentioned less often than a year ago.

“Although growth remains the CEO’s biggest priority, there was a significant fall in simple mentions of it this year, from 58 percent in 2017 to just 40 percent in 2018,” says Gartner vice president Mark Raskino.

The vice president goes on to say that CEOs are now shifting their focus and are now asking how to achieve growth in a world that is now demanding digital transformation.

Structural development and IT are the second and third most important priorities for 33 percent and 31 percent of business leaders respectively. Gartner reports that during the survey specific mention was made of digital transformation becoming a greater priority.

Looking at what restricts growth, CEOs say sourcing talent and employees are the biggest constraints that restrict growth. In addition to this, workforce capability and talent also inhibits the shift to a digital business.

 

However, Gartner warns that digital transformation must be undertaken with a view to making meaningful changes.

“Superficial digital change can be a dangerous form of self-deceit. The CEO’s commitment must be grounded in deep fundamentals, such as genuine customer value, a real business model concept and disciplined economics,” concluded Raskino.

 

[Image – CC BY 2.0 Daniel Rehn]