Artificial intelligence is the most impactful technology for CEOs but a majority don’t see the metaverse as a priority. 63% of CEOs and senior executives say the metaverse is not applicable or very unlikely to be a key technology for their business, according to a survey by marketing and research firm Gartner. For the first time environmental sustainability is among ten top priorities in the company’s annual CEO survey.
“2022 is the year that CEO perspectives truly changed,” says Mark Raskino, vice president at Gartner. “The pandemic gradually brought a number of deep societal trends to the surface, such as a desire to change the way we work and the fragility of long-distance global supply chains. More recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is amplifying macroeconomic factors that CEOs must now deal with, such as inflation.”
“Simultaneously, however, CEOs’ digital business ambition continues to rise, unabated by the pandemic and related crises.”
The survey comprises more than 400 CEOs and other senior business executives in North America, EMEA and APAC across different industries and company sizes.
“Artificial intelligence is now reported as the most impactful new technology among CEOs for the third year in a row”, the study shows.
“In the past, some CEOs have embraced new technology ideas perhaps a little too enthusiastically,” Raskino says. “In the case of the metaverse, however, it’s doubtful the respondents who think it very likely to be a key technology for their business are as confident as they appear to be.”
“The remaining list of impactful technologies reminds us that ‘new’ is in the eye of the beholder. Neither digitalization nor e-commerce, in second and fourth place respectively, is very new on a relative basis. Yet these are technologies that many business leaders still perceive as novel and disruptive in their situations.”
CEOs placed environmental sustainability in their top 10 strategic business priorities, coming in at 8th place – a significant jump from 14th place in 2019 and 20th in 2015.
74% of CEOs think increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts attracts investors toward their companies. Of the 80% of CEOs who intend to invest in new or improved products this year and next, environmental sustainability was cited as the third largest driver .
62% of CEOs see general price inflation as a persistent or long-term issue. Their top response to inflation is to raise prices (51% of respondents), rather than responding with productivity and efficiency (22% of respondents).
“Workforce issues, such as talent retention, moved up in priority for the second year in a row, only slightly behind technology-related issues such as digitalization and cybersecurity, and significantly ahead of financial issues such as profitability and cash flow”, Gartner says .