UK CEOs rate tech risks as top business concerns of 2015


UK CEOs have named ‘social media management’ and ‘cybersecurity’ among their top three ‘hot button’ issues demanding their management attention in 2015 in a new report released today 16th April 2015. According to the findings of the CEO Challenge 2015 report produced by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and The Conference Board, the challenges posed outrank business risks including growth of competition, corporate tax reform, difficulty of filling key positions and financial instability in Europe.

The comparative global report surveyed 943 business, public sector and not-for-profit organisation leaders, including 38 from the UK.

The UK respondents cited ‘social media management’, ‘changes in consumer behaviour’ and ‘cybersecurity’ to be the three biggest tactical challenges they face this year. Their three big concerns broadly match those of continental Europe CEOs, with the exception of fears about financial instability in Europe being high on the list for their counterparts.

‘Changes in customer behaviour’ was the only ‘hot button’ issue to make the top three of CEOs surveyed in all of the four regions covered by the report – the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

In contrast, UK CEOs taking a long-term view rated ‘creating a strong customer-centric culture’, ‘creating a culture of accountability’ and ‘empowering employees to make appropriate decisions’ as bring their top three strategic concerns for achieving high organisational performance.

US-based business insights organisation The Conference Board has run the annual CEO Challenge survey since 1999. This is the third year that it has teamed with the CMI to garner the perspective of UK CEOs. According to the CMI’s CEO Ann Francke the report sheds light on the issues dominating UK boardroom discussion:

“For UK CEOs, the latest tech advancements feed into great strategic opportunities but in the immediate term are causing plenty of headaches. Leaders urgently need to think about how they manage social media and cybersecurity as part of their primary strategic focus of creating a strong customer-centric culture.”

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