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3 Essential Priorities for Business Survival, According to IBM’s 2021 Global CEO Survey

3 Essential Priorities for Business Survival, According to IBM’s 2021 Global CEO Survey
April 19, 2021 gnuworld
business survival

A year of lockdowns and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic have forced businesses worldwide to take an outward-facing approach to external conditions.

In a recent IBM survey, top executives identified three core priorities fundamental to business survival. The adoption of technology is key.

About the IBM Institute for Business Value Survey

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) is a data-driven research and analysis think tank. It recently launched the results of an intensive CEO survey targeting 3,000 global business leaders.

The 2021 Global CEO Survey report, Find Your Essential: How to thrive in a post-pandemic reality, features key insights from the men and women striving for business advantage in a connected, and indelibly changed, marketplace.

Core priorities driving future business success

These are the essential priorities cited by respondents in the survey:

  • purposeful agility
  • make tech matter more
  • embrace emerging regulations.

1. Purposeful agility

CEOs have identified purpose-driven agility as a top priority. Businesses with the capabilities to make proactive organisational shifts in response to external changes are likely to survive, even outperform, their peers.

Organisations that are “adaptive and nimble” are more easily able to implement appropriately-measured responses to industry-wide disruptions. The challenge is to make agile ways of working more purposeful.

How do companies achieve purposeful agility? By purposefully preparing for changes – whether driven by competition, government or external events – and having an infrastructure that can adjust rapidly.

In order to drive significant real-world changes, the report notes that agile ways of working should include:

  • a clear focus on business outcomes
  • guidelines that indicate where innovation will lead to essential next-level advantages.

An “empowered remote workforce” was cited as playing a central role in driving flexibility. Executives envisaged a future workforce in terms of digitisation and e-collaboration – both of which are heavily reliant on technology, the second essential business priority.

2. Make tech matter more

Business leaders have recognised technology as a major game changer. In their view, tech is the most significant external force to impact businesses in the immediate future.

Their observations are not misplaced. A recent IBV Digital Acceleration study found that enterprises invested in technology outperformed their less tech-savvy peers in revenue growth by an average of six percent – and that was at the height of the pandemic.

Along with enabling strategic and organisational agility, technology is the cornerstone of efficient workstreams, maximised customer engagement and a hybridised workforce.

Which technologies are considered vital to organisational growth? CEOs ranked the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as key business assets.

All three function as standalone assets. They also work as an integrated unit to simplify operations, improve efficiencies and introduce new ways for employees to collaborate and work, thereby creating “intelligent workflows”.

“Digital maturity” may be powering business performance, but regulatory concerns are an increasingly volatile issue, which brings us to the third and final priority.

3. Embrace emerging regulations

Half of the CEOs surveyed identified regulatory concerns as a priority.

The adoption of technology to streamline efficiencies, enable remote communications and engage customers requires enhanced data protection. As a result, cybersecurity has become a major concern for business owners.

The regulatory chokehold governments have over business, as is most recently underlined by the enforced COVID-19 lockdowns, is a related issue that’s causing disquiet at the highest levels.

In order to survive, businesses are advised to consider the following:

  • What actions should we take now to prepare for expected changes to the regulatory environment?
  • How will we redefine or establish new partnerships to manage regulatory changes?
  • What new opportunities could emerge as the result of new regulations?

Operating a business from The Workspace

Does your business understand the essential priorities for business survival in the post-pandemic world? Does your business have an empowered remote workforce? Is the work-from-home model losing popularity among your remote staff?

At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our members have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to book a tour of one of our branches, call us on 087 059 7777 or contact us online.

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