Garter 2022 CEO Survey confirms AI’s importance for business leaders. The metaverse is less relevant.
According to Gartner’s survey of CEOs and senior executives, AI has been ranked as the number one priority for CEOs for the third consecutive year.
The “2022 CEO Survey –The Year Perspectives Have Changed” survey surveyed top executives and CEOs on a variety of topics, including the workforce and the environment. The results also showed that 63% of business leaders do not consider the metaverse to be a critical technology in their company, despite it being the subject of a lot of attention over the past year.
It is not surprising that AI is still a top priority for business leaders. TechRepublic reported that 97% of top executives plan to invest heavily into AI in June 2021. According to Indeed.com, AI jobs, which can be high-paying, are in high demand.
However, the metaverse is not a priority for CEOs. Although CEOs often embrace innovative technology, Mark Raskino, Gartner’s distinguished research vice president, stated that it is not likely that respondents to the metaverse think the same.
Gartner recommends CEOs to remain focused
Gartner’s report recommends that CEOs “mostly ignore metaverse hype.” Instead of planning ahead based upon concepts that are “many years away from providing substantive value to your business at scale,” Gartner suggests that business leaders focus their attention on smaller-scale research that can provide “specific business ideas” for their industry.
Raskino warns that “New” is all in the eyes of the beholder. Raskino cautions that neither digitalization nor electronic commerce, which are in the second and fourth places respectively, are very new relative to each other. These technologies are still seen as disruptive and novel by many business leaders.
Six more trends from Gartner’s survey
The survey found six other trends that CEOs believe are impacting businesses.
1. Problems with the workforce remain a major concern
Following a recent trend, talent retention, hiring, and DEI have moved up to third. Business leaders are focusing more on this area due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which saw a “great resignation” and many women leaving the workforce.
2. Environment is a priority
For the first time, CEOs included environmental sustainability as one of their top 10 strategic business priorities. Raskino believes this is a response to the “pressure from key stakeholders” to be more environmentally sustainable. It may also be a way to attract investment to their companies. According to the survey, sustainability is a “competitive differentiation for CEOs in 2022/23,” on par with brand loyalty.
3. Social issues are now at the forefront
Raskino believes that the survey shows how the pandemic brought about a “desire for change in the way we work.” He also confirmed that the “CEOs’ digital business ambitions continue to rise, unaffected by the pandemic or related crises.”
4. Data science should be incorporated into hybrid work
Many business leaders still struggle with remote workers as they transition to hybrid workforces. COVID-19 revealed that flexible work environments are in great demand. In some cases, this has caused problems with employee retention. According to the report, CEOs will be asked to “help create, approve, and fund major workforce policy modifications.” However, using data science to determine the best strategy is a good idea.
5. Technology roles are a “testbed for the future” of work and talent.
The report states that IT staff and business technologists are among the most difficult employees to retain and recruit. CEOs should consider developing management ideas based on these individuals.
6. Inflation will continue
62% of CEOs view inflation as a “persistent, long-term problem.” The primary response was to raise prices (51% of CEOs) rather than to become more efficient (22%).