Gartner’s 2024 CEO survey reveals AI as top strategic priority

75% of CEOs used ChatGPT in the first half of 2023, with 44% incorporating it into their jobs.

Gartner’s 2024 CEO survey finds that CEOs are on board with AI to a much greater extent than previously believed. 87% of CEOs agree that AI’s benefits to their businesses outweigh its risks. “Digitalization, in general, and AI, in particular, will be core innovative elements in revised business strategies, as will environmental-sustainability-based growth ideas,” writes Gartner in the report.

CEOs experimenting with synthetic video

Almost a third of CEOs have considered making and using a synthetic video of themselves. Gartner notes that Estelle Brachlianoff, CEO of the European utility services company Veolia, has posted an AI-augmented video of herself on LinkedIn and X appears to speak in multiple languages.

Driving AI adoption

CEOs who adopt new technologies immediately drive their adoption enterprise-wide because everyone immediately sees those technologies as critical to their jobs. Seasoned CEOs know the quickest way to get a new enterprise app’s adoption rate to go up is to use it themselves and demonstrate their mastery quickly. What’s happening with AI’s adoption is faster than many CEOs expected.

Key takeaways from Gartner’s 2024 CEO survey include the following:

Growth dominates CEO agendas, reaching a new record in Gartner’s annual survey. “CEOs’ top business priority of growth is up 25% and is at the highest level since 2014,’ writes Gartner. Financial considerations increased by 25%, cost management by 11%, and customer priorities grew by 22%. The survey points towards CEOs being more focused on profitability and margins, two signs of internal process gains to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency. The survey results point to more CEOs looking at how to get greater returns from the most expensive assets their businesses operate.

Source: Gartner 2024 CEO Survey — The Year of Strategy Relaunches

CEOs mentioning AI as one of their top two technology priorities jumped from 4% in 2023 to 24% in 2024. Technology innovation also increased from 7% to 11%, and the use of digital transformation for growth increased from 9% to 11%. It’s interesting to see how CEOs are focusing on how to improve, integrate, and modernize their strategic use of technology. That category jumps from 1% in 2023 to 5% in 2024. “AI is explicitly mentioned a lot more in 2024 than it was in the 2023 survey. At the same time, mentions of “digitalization” have declined significantly, as have mentions of e-commerce and omnichannel,” writes Gartner.

Source: Gartner 2024 CEO Survey — The Year of Strategy Relaunches

34% of CEOs say that the next business transformation their enterprises will pursue after digital is AI. CEO’s intentions to pursue AI as their next business transformation are nearly four times greater than their interest in operations efficiency and agility. Sustainability and ESG are a distant third priority. Just 5% of CEOs say customer experience/centricity will be a priority.

Source: Gartner 2024 CEO Survey — The Year of Strategy Relaunches59% say AI is the technology that will most impact their industry. AI has a four-year track record of being the top category, starting in 2020, with the percentage of CEOs mentioning it ranging between 18% to 29%. Gartner mentions in the survey results that in 15 years of asking this question and comparable ones to it, there’s never been a category that emerges as dominant as AI has. In the past, CEOs believed cloud and big data technologies would be the most impactful. Previous technologies have had nowhere near the extent of impact that AI does today. “Eighty-six percent of CEOs expect AI will help maintain or grow their revenue in 2024-2025, and when asked exactly how that would happen, the top answer category was an improvement to customer experience and relationships,” writes Gartner.

By Louis Columbus via LinkedIn Pulse