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CEOs prioritize growth and embrace AI as top business strategies for 2024, finds Gartner

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CEOs in 2024

In 2024, CEOs are increasingly prioritizing growth, marking the highest level since 2014, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey found that 62% of CEOs selected growth as their top business priority, a significant rise from the 49% reported last year.

The shift towards growth is accompanied by a diminished emphasis on cost management, indicating a widespread belief among CEOs and senior executives that the toughest economic challenges have passed.

In terms of digital transformation, 34% of CEOs highlighted artificial intelligence (AI) as the primary theme for the next wave of business transformation. This was followed by operations efficiency, which was noted by 9% of respondents. AI has become the most frequently mentioned keyword among CEOs, largely due to the advancements in generative AI (GenAI) in 2023.

Most CEOs believe these AI breakthroughs validate the hype in the tech sector and are entrusting CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs to harness the value of GenAI, indicating a collaborative approach rather than a top-down mandate.

An overwhelming 87% believe the benefits of AI outweigh its risks, and 90% dismiss the notion that AI poses an existential threat to humanity as exaggerated hype. However, not all perspectives are entirely positive.

Despite their enthusiasm for AI’s potential, CEOs remain aware of the challenges associated with this technology. 56% of CEOs expressed concerns about the operational challenges posed by disinformation, misinformation, and deep fakes. Additionally, 29% anticipate issues with constrained electricity supply, and 53% foresee supply chain disruptions, partly driven by the demands of GenAI technology.

Gartner advises CEOs to allow low-cost GenAI projects while resisting the urge to centrally control its use. Instead, they should let the hype cycle run its course, anticipating a decline in enthusiasm by the end of 2024. CEOs should only intervene in projects that pose significant risks to the company’s reputation.

The 2024 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, conducted from July to December 2023, encompassed insights from 416 CEOs and senior business executives across diverse regions and industries.

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Read next: AI divide in HR: 38% embrace AI technology, while non-AI users hesitate, revealing significant gap in adoption and understanding

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