Nearly two thirds of Chief Executives admit to suffering from tech imposter syndrome

28/05/2024

THE majority of UK Chief Executives are experiencing tech imposter syndrome in the boardroom, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) admitting they secretly feel out of their depth when it comes to digital skills.

The findings were revealed in a new report from AND Digital entitled The CEO Digital Divide: are you accelerating enterprise value or slowing it down?, which surveyed 600 global CEOs and was conducted by independent research company Censuswide.

As well as confessing to feeling like an ‘analogue CEO in a digital age’, 34 percent of business chiefs feel they do not have the digital knowledge to take their company to its next stage of growth. 

In response to this looming digital skills gap, the report revealed that nearly all CEOs (78 per cent) are looking to improve their skills and have signed up for digital training this year.

Despite currently lacking critical digital skills, a majority of CEOs still feel they need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to data and technology in order to ensure growth. As a result, nearly two-thirds (59 per cent) of respondents indicated that they’re pouring a large portion of their budget into cyber security this year. 

The investment in cyber security is no doubt driven by an increasing anxiety around security breaches, with four in 10 CEOs reporting that they live ‘in constant fear’ of a cyber breach (42%).

Across the board, CEOs are recognising the pressing need to digitally upskill and making conscious efforts to prioritise this to drive lasting change.

Stephen Paterson Chief for Technology and People at AND Digital commented: “It’s clear that the continual pace of technological change is leaving CEOs feeling somewhat out of their depth, triggering tech imposter syndrome in the boardroom. 

For business leaders suffering from digital anxiety, the way forward means evaluating the role that technology will play in accelerating your business strategy. When you start to consider technology as an enabler to your commercial objectives, it becomes far simpler to identify the digital skills you’ll need to support your growth. It’s important to remember that improving digital skills isn’t a one-off activity, it requires sustained focus and investment to ensure long-term success.

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