8 Common Challenges of Tech CEOs — TheCodeWork
CEOs are the ultimate power-holders in any company, right? Okay, in this context, a tech company. Whatever they say, goes. We have all heard of their many perks and privileges.But what about the problems that they shield a company from? One topic that is rarely talked about in this context — the common challenges of tech CEOs.
With significant changes happening in the digital sector recently ( I mean post-Covid), tech CEOs definitely have their work cut out for them in 2023. The rise of automation processes, remote/hybrid work models, and ever increasing cyber threats, just to name a few — pose significant challenges for CEOs in the tech industry.
The good news is that these difficulties can spur creativity. Even though it might be a challenging year, there is also a rare opportunity to review and refine business strategies. As well as explore new tech avenues like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain development, etc.
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Now, we know that the duties of a tech CEO are not simple. I think we can all agree on that, yes? Every tech company faces challenges- and they vary from one business to the next. However, tech CEOs in general also share some common problems. In today’s article, let’s go over some of the most common challenges they face and discuss ways to overcome them.
So let’s begin, shall we?
Most common challenges of Tech CEOs
Setting up a successful tech company is certainly no easy task. The competition is fierce, and technology changes so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up.
Here are the common challenges of tech CEOs that we have identified, as well as some strategies to deal with them.
1. Ever-changing tech environment
The tech industry evolves at an astounding pace. (I mean, think about it, the first cell phone was developed just 40 years ago!). Indeed, Amazon updates its software roughly 8000 times per day, or once every 11 seconds! Sounds almost unbelievable, doesn’t it? But it’s true!
In light of this, these days, the common challenges of tech CEOs include:
- Changing regulations
- Faster product development cycles
- Rapidly obsolete technology, and
- Ever-increasing competition
…just to name a few.
And to keep up with this rapid evolution phase, the tech CEOs have to keep a strategic plan in place that moves the company forward. Trust me, this is one of the most common challenges of tech CEOs.
Addressing the challenge: Always plan two steps ahead
I am sure it’s obvious that to keep a business afloat in these times, it’s essential to always plan ahead:
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2. Scaling While Staying Agile
The Agile development processes have become an industry standard for most tech companies nowadays. Wondering what Agile development is all about? Well, it is basically an iterative process for managing and developing tech projects.
Agile processes enable the tech teams to deliver the best results to their clients faster and with fewer setbacks. Obviously, this allows companies to establish and maintain a great growth momentum.
For example, Cisco IT team employees reported that adopting the Agile methodology allowed them to
- Enhance productivity
- Improve product quality, as well as
- Provide better employee experience overall
Sounds like a sweet deal, doesn’t it?
However, the major challenge for tech executives comes when it’s time to scale the company. Given the insane amount of competition in the tech field today, CEOs have to constantly think of novel ways to grow the company. While still remaining agile at heart, of course!
Addressing the challenge: Develop a solid tech-adoption strategy
The key to scaling the company with agility is to keep the tech team adaptable to change. And to do this, CEOs need to
- Have a foolproof tech adoption strategy in place, even if the said team is technologically savvy. It’s essential to consider tech adoption in 2023 because of how quickly the tech industry is evolving.
- Analyze current business systems: Identify gaps that are unnecessarily causing slowdowns in business processes.
- Develop a training strategy specific to the needs of the company and its employees.
- Build open communication channels with the employees. Make sure to communicate all technology changes, along with the rationale behind them. This helps to implement the changes much more easily.
- Keep a close eye on deployment and develop precise tracking metrics. This will help to determine whether a business strategy was successful so it can be modified if necessary.
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3. Obtaining (and retaining) top talent
There is no denying that having a strong team can mean the difference between success and failure. I’m sure you agree with me on this, right? However, getting-and keeping-the right talent for your company is getting harder by the day.
In fact, about 61% of HR managers reported in a McKinsey study that employing developers was possibly the greatest challenge for most tech companies. In this scenario, tech CEOs have to go above and beyond to hire-and keep-their top talent.
Addressing the challenge: Streamline hiring processes with HR tech
The use of advanced technology in the space of Human Resources has revolutionized the way companies hire and manage their talent. HR tech uses both software and hardware to manage a broad range of human resources duties and responsibilities. Yes, I’m talking about
- Recruitment, as well as
- Overseeing employee benefits
HR tech does it all. Let me give an example here.
Arvato Bertelsmann, an international customer support service provider was facing unnaturally high turnover. To address this issue, they turned to technology to provide candidates a virtual tour of their future work environments. Consequently, Arvato’s unwanted turnover decreased by at least 63%! Quite an impressive feat, isn’t it?
Expert tech employees are always in demand. So, if companies want to hire and retain their best performing employees, they certainly have to go the extra mile:
- The key to developing an effective retention strategy is providing an excellent working environment and establishing a great corporate culture.
- Added perks such as: flexible work schedules, work from home facilities, and the space to be creative and innovative.
- Upskilling employees. According to PWC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, 93% of CEOs who implemented upskilling initiatives reported improved talent recruitment and retention. Not only that, they also reported having a more resilient overall workforce.
Tell me, how good does that sound?
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4. Embracing New Technologies
The struggle to keep up with new technologies is an old story in tech. Even so, the pandemic and the increase in remote work that followed have sped up the creation of software solutions for hybrid environments. What’s more, cloud computing and automation are expanding at never-before-seen rates.
By 2024, automation will cut operating costs by 30%, according to Gartner. Cloud migration, low-code/no-code tools, and other such technologies will be absolutely essential if tech CEOs want to keep their businesses ahead of the curve.
Addressing the challenge: Embrace automation
This year, one of tech companies’ top priorities should be automation. Many repetitive, time-consuming tasks, particularly in the tech industry, are easily automatable.
This not only eliminates the possibility of human error, but also frees up time to concentrate on more difficult business tasks. In a sector that values innovation, it’s critical to give employees the freedom to work on more complex problems. Makes sense, right?
Indeed, tech giant Dell automated its recruitment processes and saw a whopping 85% jump in HR productivity! How’s that for a win?
So, how does one go about automating business systems? Firstly, identify the business process that can be automated. This should serve as a good starting point for figuring out what portion of the company should be set aside for new technology.
Consider the following automation processes:
- Low-code or no-code tools
- iPaas (Integration platform as a service)
- Robotic process automation
- Software with event-driven architecture
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5. Managing a remote team
Prior to 2020, it was challenging enough for CEOs to find ways to connect with the team in an effective manner. But during COVID-19, a new working style emerged.
Yes, you guessed it right-remote working! In the early stages of COVID-19, 80% of multinational corporations switched to remote, virtual, or hybrid team collaboration styles.
And with that, tech CEOs now have to face new team management challenges altogether. Like having the proper security infrastructure, maintaining employee morale, adapting to new policies, and so on. Ugh! So much on the plate!
Addressing the challenge: Switch to the cloud
For efficient remote team management in 2023, cloud migration is definitely the way to go. Most tech CEOs seem to think this way too!
Indeed 87% of global IT decision-makers agreed that the COVID-19 hugely accelerated the need for businesses to speed up their cloud migration procedures.
However, cloud migration has a long history.
Way back in 2008, online streaming platform Netflix decided to move its infrastructure to the cloud. Netflix’s decision to move to the cloud turned out to be a wise one. By December 2015, the amount of content streamed on the service increased about 1,000 times. And by the end of the cloud migration process, there were eight times as many subscribers as compared to the beginning.
Wondering what benefits cloud migration can provide for a company? Well…here are just some perks of switching to the cloud:
- It enables employees to work from any location while maintaining productivity and reducing fixed costs
- Better scalability
- Enhanced security (as compared to older in-house software)
- Disaster recovery (the cloud automatically backs up your data)
- Improved team collaboration tools
So now, managers and C-level executives can communicate with their workforce more easily, no matter where their employees are. How cool is that?
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6. Outdated Systems
Outdated legacy software is one of the biggest money-and time-pits in an organization. Let me give you an example here.
A recent State of the Workplace Survey estimates that outdated software costs American companies a whopping $1.8 trillion annually in lost productivity. A staggering amount, isn’t it?
So it makes sense that such outdated technology should be replaced by newer ones as soon as possible. You agree with me here, right?
And typically, it’s up to the CEO to locate and upgrade such systems when necessary. But it’s easier said than done.
Honestly, I get it-upgrading to new technology requires a lot of money. But hear me out-even though it might seem rather daunting to make further investments in new technology, they will pay for themselves eventually.
Addressing the challenge: Ditch your legacy software
Here are some strategies to modernize a company’s legacy software without breaking the bank:
- The Lift and Shift: as the name implies, developers basically pick up the company’s old software system and its applications and put them on a new cloud server.
- Refactoring Method: In refactoring, programmers will gradually replace small portions of the legacy software over time. This is great for companies that don’t want to spend a lump sum on software modernization at once, or if they simply don’t have the time.
- Rewriting software: This involves just throwing away the legacy code altogether. And then rewriting it from scratch. Takes a fair amount of time and money, sure, but it’s well worth the investment.
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Did you know that the third quarter of 2022 saw a record-breaking 3 million phishing attacks? Similarly, ransomware attacks affected as many as 20 large companies in 2021! And if that’s not bad enough, that number doubled in the first 10 months of 2022. Ugh!
According to Accenture’s “ State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 “ report, the annual cost of data breaches will increase from $3 trillion to above $5 trillion by 2024. Quite an alarming sum, isn’t it?
In such circumstances, tech CEOs definitely need to ramp up their cybersecurity efforts.
Addressing the challenge: Regularly review and upgrade your company’s cybersecurity tools.
Here are some ways in which CEOs can prevent major data breaches in their company. Or at least minimize the damage in case one does happen. (Always prepare for the worst, right?)
- Training the staff to practice responsible internet browsing methods and detect phishing emails
- avoiding dodgy downloads
- enabling tools for authentication (e.g., Multi-Factor Authentication, etc.)
- Regularly upgrading software to safeguard confidential customer and vendor information
- Securing company networks by setting up a firewall and encrypting data
- Regularly backing up company data to prevent data loss
Yes, cyber attacks are definitely something to watch out for these days — the most crucial pointer in this list of common challenges of tech CEOs.
However, CEOs (and employees) can prevent such attacks by staying aware, alert, and updated. And if you want to upgrade your company’s cybersecurity measures, you can always reach out to our team at TheCodeWork for the latest cybersecurity strategies.
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8. Managing Changing Customer Expectations and Relationships
Managing customer expectations and relationships was never a very easy task. However with company values now taking precedence, CEOs are held to a greater level of accountability than ever before.
Investors may have high standards for companies, but ultimately, it is the customers who need to be pleased.
And the first step to pleasing the customers is knowing the customers. So let’s see how to do that, shall we?
Addressing the challenge: Invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology
CRM technology enables businesses to get to know their customers’ behavior so that they can use it to make informed business decisions. It is technology specifically designed to organize interactions and relationships between a business and its clients, or potential clients.
CRM tech is essential for streamlining key business processes like
- overseeing sales workflows
- driving marketing campaigns
- monitoring customer interactions
…and much more. Needless to say, the CRM database contains a vast amount of data about the company and its customers. That is why most big tech companies use CRM tech these days.
Take Apple, for example! CRM tech plays a crucial role in Apple’s growth plan. If you’ve ever owned an Apple device, you likely had to use an Apple ID to register it. These distinctive IDs sync up between devices, store user preferences, and generate customized recommendations based on such preferences. Users simply find this super convenient.
However, look at it from the business point of view. It’s a tool that gives Apple information about what their consumers like and can be applied to develop effective, targeted marketing strategies.
One of the most useful tools in the CRM platform is the CRM Dashboard. A CRM dashboard is the holy grail for tracking customer behavior in a company. It provides a centralized overview of the company’s
- sales activities,
- goal progresses,
- performance indicators, and
…other KPIs in real time.
By using a CRM dashboard, businesses can transform their customer information into a trustworthy, usable tool for wise decision-making. Sounds too good, I know!
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At present, digital transformation is the order of the day, with new and revolutionary technologies emerging almost everyday. For tech CEOs, this is a time of both tough challenges and exciting opportunities for advancements.
And as we saw in the article, most of the challenges can be overcome with just a bit of strategic planning and embracing digital initiatives.
Of course, TheCodeWork has got your back should you opt for any new digital initiatives for your company! Be it cloud migration or full product development, we are just one phone call away!