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Why Top Tech CEOs & CFOs are Worried

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I just ran across a really interesting infographic produced by Wells Fargo, titled: “What Keeps Tech CEOs and CFOs Up at Night?” It’s interesting to me, not just because I’m part of the C-suite at a tech company, or because Wells Fargo is one of our valued customers, but because so much of what they suggest is born out in what I see every day.

First and foremost, I was first struck that the infographic suggests that what keeps CEOs up at night ultimately falls into two main buckets:

  1. Mitigate and minimize risk (from cyber threats, from regulatory/compliance obligations and from competition)
  2. Maximize opportunities (to improve brand reputation, to leverage emerging tech and to execute on strategy)

I suppose this adheres to the old maxim that CEOs are only interested in two things: “making or saving money,” but this infographic does a nice job parsing out the pain/opportunity points.

  • 93% of tech CEOs are worried about product relevancy in three years
  • 33% say regulatory risk is a top concern
  • 69% assessed cyber risk in their organizations over the previous 12 months, and 53% updated 3rd party risk policies
  • 90% are up at night thinking about the possible effects of global economic forces
  • 88% aren’t sure about how millennials will impact the business
  • Etc.

It’s clearly not an easy time to be a business leader. With GDPR going into effect on May 25th of this year, and then California announcing a “GDPR 2.0” shorty thereafter, and now signs that the FTC will develop broader GDPR-like laws in the U.S., regulatory compliance is on everyone’s mind. Then add data privacy to existing regulations like SOX, PCI, HIPAA (if you touch healthcare PII), ISO (if you’re in manufacturing), et al, and it’s a party you likely wish you hadn’t been invited to attend.

Then there’s the daily worry about cyber security with updates about Russian hackers and bots, and news about the data security breach du jour. Leaders at the Democratic Party, Equifax, Target, Uber, JP Morgan Chase, Sony, VeriSign, eBay, Yahoo and countless others have had to deal with the financial and reputational aftermath of security breaches over the last decade.  And as we march steadily into “the 4th industrial revolution,” with the intersection of physical and digital business (think AI, Automation, Cognitive Computing, IoT), the risks are going to increase exponentially.  Heck, even the Girl Scouts are now offering a merit badge for cyber security!

Finally, there’s the constant discussion about digital transformation: AKA “avoiding digital disruption.” Ensuring that your product will be relevant in three years and that you’ve mapped the journeys of your current customers as well as the millennials who will (if you don’t screw it up), replace them over time.

All in all, it’s no small feat. And it’s exactly why iGrafx created a Digital Transformation Engine that has been adopted by 2/3 of the Fortune 100 and 5 of the top 10 US banks (like our friends at Wells Fargo). Please reach out so we can help you sleep better at night.

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