Executives all over the world are struggling to keep up with the changing dynamics of business and in 2018 it is no different. We continue to experience the unprecedented acceleration of tech innovation and disruption, and executives must be prepared for pleasant surprises as well as unexpected risks.

Adapt and Adopt

The challenges that businesses face today have led to significant changes in the number and nature of executives within an organisation. As Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers redesign their roles and shoulder additional responsibilities, executives like Chief Security Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, and Chief Data Officers, owing to their specialisation, are slowly becoming an indispensable part of modern organisations. Rather than being confined to their conventional roles, executives must reimagine themselves to be more results oriented, revenue-focused, and data-exploiting. They must consistently educate and reinvent themselves, adapt to new roles and adopt new responsibilities to maximize the growth and reputation of their organisation.

Embrace Digitalisation

Executives can no longer afford to passively monitor the advances in technology and business trends. AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Advanced Data Analytics etc are spearheading digital transformation to traditional methods. It is time to assimilate them into relevant processes and systems. Successful executives do not react to changes, they predict, prepare, and perform to stay ahead of their competitors.

Embracing new technologies to innovate and build new products and create better services will help an organisation establish themselves as a market leader in 2018.

Acquire Insights

Everyone knows that data will drive business, and this has led to a race between companies to acquire more and more data irrespective of its utility and benefit. Today, several organisations have an overwhelming volume of data, but only a handful know what to do with it.

Rather than considering data as just an asset, executives must focus on capitalising on it to reap economies of scale and scope, improve products and services through innovation, and enhance customer-orientation and satisfaction.
Remember data acquisition is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Executives must leverage data to acquire insights which will give their organisation a definite direction and drive their business to new heights.

Prioritise Security

As the importance of data increases, the instances of data breach are also on the rise. Recent cyber-attacks on well-known companies have exposed the vulnerability of organisations. A data breach not only impacts the operations of an organisation, but also severely damages its credibility.

Executives need to channel their financial and human resources towards protecting their infrastructure and information. They can do this by automating processes and systems to identify and block potential threats, recruiting security professionals, and reassigning and training existing employees to pre-empt attacks.

As disruptive innovations steer the market in new directions, executives cannot afford to be complacent. Every organisation will have unique challenges in 2018, but most of them will primarily revolve around new roles, digitalisation, data and security. Executives must strategise accordingly, operate optimally, and automate efficiently to ensure that their organisation keeps growing.