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Managing disruptive technologies and other top CEO concerns

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One of the most important roles for chief executives is treading a line between actively pursuing growth and managing risks.

In partnership with The CEO Institute, Pronto Software interviewed 118 CEOs from companies and industries across Australia to uncover the top 5 CEO concerns.

The full report is available at but here are the key highlights.

CEOs’ top five concerns

1. Managing and retaining staff

Slightly more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the CEOs we surveyed see staffing as a significant challenge. This concern is not just about finding the right people; it is also about putting in the right systems to support staff, and ensuring they are working on productive tasks – not tasks that are mundane or easily automated.

2. Mastering disruptive digital technology

More than one-third (35 per cent) of CEOs said digital technology provides both opportunities and challenges.

According to some analysts, Australia is a digital ‘laggard’. The Fletcher School at Tufts University has created a Digital Evolution Index, which classifies Australia as a ‘stall out’ country. That is, its businesses have in the past shown high levels of digital evolution, but now risk falling behind.

3. Handling growth

Around one in five (18 per cent) CEOs cited growth as a key driver of transformation, but also an area of concern.

Some CEOs said they are not equipped to take advantage of digital-related growth opportunities, especially in an organisational sense.

4. Adapting to change

The pace of change is a significant concern for 16 per cent of respondents.

They said technology is altering the way businesses operate, from how people work to the demands of customers. Even so, numerous CEOs said that some of their employees are reluctant to embrace change.

5. Boosting productivity

Around one in 10 CEOs expressed concern about productivity. The ability to do more with less, as an economy-wide challenge.

A range of CEOs discussed how using the right systems could increase productivity and be a positive experience for staff. 

Winning back control

As can be seen in this report, CEOs are dealing with substantial challenges in multiple areas.

With the right technology, CEOs can develop insights, make quick decisions and help workers become more efficient.

However, leaders often struggle to make sense of the information they receive – especially when it arrives thick and fast, and comes from multiple sources in a variety of formats. This, in turn, affects their ability to make good decisions quickly enough for success.

At Pronto Software, we believe CEOs should focus on developing a ‘single source of truth’ that cuts across their operations and draws together all internal and external data sources. This common and ideally real-time view of the organisation will come from introducing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence (BI) system that can better monitor the business and inform decisions in all the areas of concern we discuss in this paper, from staffing to responding to digital change.

To read the full report, please visit



Chad Gates

Chad Gates

Chad Gates is the Managing Director for ERP vendor Pronto Software. @ChadinaBox

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