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The Top Issues and Problems That Worry CEOs

Learn more about the top issues and problems that CEOs worry about, including internal concerns, global trade, cybersecurity, and data governance.  

As 2020 gets underway, CEOs continue to have some internal and external concerns. CEOs are taking some caution into the new year but there should also be a dose of optimism.

Top CEO Concerns Include cybersecurity and data governance

Worries about Recession

The top worry for CEOs is a recession. Business leaders feel a lot of anxiety about the uncertain future of the finance world. This concern causes pressure around several different issues, including climate change and trade. One statistic that supports this claim is the fact the growth in domestic product dropped slightly. Concerns about recession, whether they are justified or not, can have consequences for the economy. The continued worry about the recession can actually create a different mindset among top executives. This mindset can even turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Internal Concerns

One of the top issues internally is not only attracting but also retaining top talent. Regardless of the location, industry, or size, CEOs across the globe want to find ways to recruit and keep top talent. The battle for top-quality talent is due to a tight labor market. Companies are going to need to be more strategic in their efforts since many companies are already struggling to find the right employees for the job. Artificial intelligence may become a valuable human resources tool in the coming years.

Other internal concerns include a greater focus on creating innovative cultures and products. The number three internal concern is having a more innovative culture. CEOs want to make a commitment to cultivating leaders of the future and this also goes along with their number one priority of attracting the top talent and being able to cultivate it.

Worried about Global Trade

While some relations in the world are improving, there are also concerns that are lingering about the effects of changes in global trade. While the recent trade deal between China and the United States gave some corporate leaders a new sense of confidence, some are only mildly encouraged. The current economic climate is strange and executives all have a few questions about these trade issues. It’s not just China that executives are worried about but also other trade agreements around the world.

Cybersecurity Concerns

Cybersecurity has been a concern for years. The frequency of cyber-attacks affects all types of businesses and organizations. The sophistication of the attacks is also increasing. Corporations have been planning to have larger cybersecurity budgets to combat this but there is a big percentage of organizations that don’t have clarity on the best strategies for response and defense.

Data Governance

To go along with cybersecurity concerns, data governance becomes a new worry. Many companies are storing data in low structure distributed systems and even with unmanaged devices. Even in a well-known system, administrators aren’t sure that personal data isn’t being given to the wrong individuals. Companies need a new approach to security. No matter how the data is being used, governance is important. Companies need audit trails of what is doing what with their data. In the past, companies may have rolled out applications once per year across the whole company. Now, every business unit within an organization can roll out one or even more applications each month and there isn’t much tracking of where the data is coming from, who is using it, and where it’s going to go. Without tracking or a comprehensive business model, companies can be taking a legal risk. This keeps executives up at night and can be a huge worry. Given the potential data security risks, it’s important that business has a plan.

While there are a lot of concerns for CEOs in 2020, CEOs are not able to control some of the issues that worry them. What they should focus on is developing a more innovative culture and new business models that manage the issues that are within their power to make a change.