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Tech trends 2024: A guide to tech anxiety
(and how to overcome it)


Change is the only constant in business and, right now, technology innovation is accelerating across every industry. GenAI. Predictive analytics. Connected digital experiences. Organizations are having to move faster than ever before to respond to shifting business and customer needs.

Keeping pace with digital transformation is crucial and most leaders recognize this and are investing in change. Our recent survey of over 800 UK and US leaders—2024 Leadership Priorities in Tech— found that 75% of leaders believe that digital transformation investment is needed in the next year.

However, change always brings challenges—and a remarkable 94% of leaders report tech anxiety among senior leaders inside their organizations. Constant change is fueling tech anxiety which is set to be one of the biggest and most impactful digital transformation trends of 2024.

So, what’s keeping leaders up at night? What are key anxiety trigger points? And how can leaders successfully prepare for and respond to change without being overwhelmed by innovation?

Here’s your guide to tech anxiety and managing it in 2024 and beyond:

Common sources of tech anxiety

The pressures on senior leaders look very different in every business, but there are common anxiety triggers that cross traditional industry barriers. Our research revealed that leaders report the highest levels of anxiety in several key areas, with cyber security (24%) and the rise of AI and machine learning (19%) causing the most worry. Sustainability strategy (17%) came a close third, with skills gaps around sustainability holding leaders back on implementation.

On cyber security, executives are feeling the pressure of keeping their organizations protected against increasingly sophisticated attacks. It’s not only their data and those of their customers that are on the line but also their company’s reputation and financial security. While for AI and machine learning, the sheer pace of change is overwhelming, with fast-moving challenges on job security, data protection, and business resilience causing uncertainty around the best way forward.
With great change comes great opportunity. Leaders must be flexible, leverage data, and build transformation around business needs to succeed.
Richard Neish - Global Chief Strategy Officer, Kin + Carta

Tech tenacity: Managing leadership anxiety and making change happen

Despite widespread tech anxiety, leaders are committed to digital transformation. Two of the three most common causes of worry are also among the top priorities for future investment—AI and machine learning and cyber security. Improving customer experience was another key leadership investment focus.

But wherever your transformation priorities lie, it’s important to maintain a grounded approach to digital transformation. Quick fixes don’t exist, but there are practical steps senior leaders can take toward organizational resilience, as Kin + Carta’s VP of Strategy and Innovation, Adam Schanfield, shares in the report:

  • Think bigger: Focus on connecting end-user value propositions with original and exciting experiences, rather than on internal use cases for data.
  • Focus on parallel priorities: Invest in interconnected capabilities to appease your tech anxiety—for example, high-priority areas like AI and machine learning can benefit from simultaneous investment in cyber security.
  • Plan for future needs: Scope out initiatives for your next areas for improvement before they catch you out—digital transformation needs to be iterative and it needs to be planned.

    Many internal and external factors can impact a digital transformation journey, and these competing pressures can cause tech anxiety to grow. But inaction could be much more harmful than taking carefully considered steps forward. Change is happening with or without you, so why not leverage the latest digital innovation to accelerate your business goals?

Future-proof your organization

While some leaders are facing their tech anxieties and doing it anyway, the speed of progress isn’t uniform. To unleash true digital transformation and build modern, forward-looking organizations, leaders must acknowledge business and customer needs, face anxieties, and scrutinize the priorities of every team and every department across their business. Without a robust approach to ensuring technology, people, and processes work together seamlessly, companies risk falling behind the competition.

Want to learn more about tech anxiety and digital transformation leadership trends? Read the full report to find out how other leaders are balancing priorities, building strong data foundations, and ensuring they’re ready for whatever 2024 has in store.

Take our two-week Tech Anxiety workshop to accelerate your digital transformation.

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