As we move into 2024, the landscape for organizations is evolving rapidly, bringing new challenges and opportunities, particularly for technology executives. It’s not just about leading — it’s about dynamically adapting to new priorities and enhancing skills. This article outlines the top priorities for tech executives in the challenging year ahead.

New Priorities for Tech Executives

More is demanded of tech executives than ever in history. And the burden continues to grow. Here are the new demands.

Agility and Adaptability

Tech leaders are now expected to be masters of agility — not just familiar with Agile methodologies — but capable of steering their organizations through rapid changes with grace and decisiveness.

This means being able to change strategies, business models, or technologies in response to new opportunities or threats. To be successful, you must be exceptionally quick and flexible in your decision-making and strategic planning due to the rapid pace of change in technology and market conditions.

Being agile and adaptable are thus critical skills for navigating the complexities and dynamics of the tech industry.

Monitor Emerging Tech and Build Skills

One of the critical shifts is the focus on emerging technologies like Generative AI.

You must master the ability to monitor emerging tech and develop strategies to build the skills of your teams so they’re ready. That means the solution is NOT to “hire” new folks with the new skills but to develop them internally.

(Bonus: this will drive retention, which you need more than ever in this market where the talent is hard to find and hard to hire.)

Global Geopolitical Awareness and Response

As global geopolitical tensions escalate, businesses face a wide range of challenges. It’s crucial for you to become and remain updated on international developments.

“The escalation of tensions between the US and China could disrupt supply chains for many companies, so it’s crucial to diversify risks to reduce dependence on these two countries,” says Peter Bilyk, chief innovation officer at Ukrainian law firm Juscutum.[1]

This approach is essential to maintain business continuity. You need to monitor these developments and adapt your strategies accordingly, ensuring your organization remains resilient and responsive.

Continued Priorities for Tech Executives

Despite the whirlwind of new demands, certain core responsibilities remain unchanged.

Monitor Enterprise Risks and Security Concerns

You must still prioritize enterprise risks and security, ensuring your teams are prepared to defend against ever-evolving threats.

In the face of increasingly sophisticated AI-based threats, organizations must embrace a proactive defense, which entails constant monitoring for vulnerabilities and staying abreast of new threats via continual training and education.

Equally important is assembling a skilled cybersecurity team proficient in identifying and mitigating risks. Combining intelligence analysts with threat-hunting teams enhances the ability to foresee advanced AI attack methods.

This multi-layered approach is vital for robust cybersecurity in the face of sophisticated AI challenges.

Scalability of Data Management

Scalability and data management continue to be foundational. With the introduction of generative AI, it is crucial for organizations to assess and manage their data assets rigorously.

Effective data governance is key for any organization to ensure data security and smooth operations. Establishing clear policies and training staff on how to handle data correctly helps reduce the risk of security issues and keeps the business compliant with legal and industry standards.

Continued focus on data governance equips a company to secure its data environment and leverage data for competitive advantage, aligning with overall business strategy and long-term success.

Digital Transformation

Reshaping how an organization utilizes technology, its workforce, and processes to enhance overall business efficiency and adopt innovative business models persists, with its definition and scope constantly expanding. These changes are fundamentally cultural, impacting every aspect of the enterprise.

Prioritizing and addressing digital transformation requires a strategic approach that incorporates the latest advancements in technology, such as generative AI, and efficiently manages the transformation process to minimize technical debt and modernize applications.

By staying agile and adaptable in the approach to digital transformation, organizations can effectively prioritize and address the direction of digital transformation while remaining competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Personal and Professional Development

Don’t let your job define what you learn and experience! That’s how you lose value fast.

Staying conversant and skilled in relevant technologies is essential, and expanding your understanding beyond your immediate role is vital to maintaining your value in the rapidly changing tech landscape.

In terms of tech, you need to stay on top of AI, generative AI, automation, cybersecurity, digital transformation, cloud, data management, and P&L. These are things you need to be trained in, skilled in — and you must know how to talk about them! That can be a lot, I know.

Industry Trends and Financial Performance Awareness

Last year, a priority was to balance and prioritize business value vs. cost for your work by consistently assessing both internal performance metrics and external industry trends and staying agile in adapting plans accordingly.

As we embrace 2024, we’re witnessing a seismic shift in how organizations manage their financial performance. It’s not just about monitoring anymore — it’s about swift, decisive actions. The mantra now is “Keep It or Cut It” based on quarterly outcomes.

This trend is why we’re seeing paradoxical moves in big tech – cuts and hiring simultaneously. Decisions hinge on financial forecasts and ROI. This could mean finding oneself in a layoff stack as companies pivot to invest in new directions.

The year 2024 promises to be thrilling yet turbulent. The ability to navigate the changes, to anticipate the needs of your organization, and to articulate your value will distinguish successful leaders. Your ability to adapt, learn, and innovate is what will carry you through the challenges and opportunities of 2024.

Remember, the only constant in our industry is change, and being prepared is your best strategy for success. Here’s to a year of growth, resilience, and success!


Questions to Ponder:

  • How prepared are you for this unpredictability?
  • If you had to find your next role tomorrow, could you?
  • Are you actively fortifying your position in your current role?

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