Indian CEOs have cited management of a remote workforce as one of their biggest challenges in a recent global survey

An IBM study has revealed that in the post-Covid world of work, Indian CEOs see managing a remote workforce as a top challenge until the year 2023.

Half of the outperforming company CEOs surveyed globally and 35 per cent in India said managing a remote “anywhere” workforce is a top leadership challenge over the next few years.

The majority of CEOs surveyed in India see technological factors, market factors and regulatory concerns among the most important external forces that will affect their business in the next few years, following the massive disruptions of 2020, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study.

The regulatory concerns reflect a rising assertiveness by governments around privacy, data, trade and – amplified by Covid-19 – health.

Global CEOs of outperforming organisations – those who were in the top 20 per cent for revenue growth of those surveyed – are prioritising talent, technology and partnerships to position their companies for success after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Across the board, surveyed CEOs in India said the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning, robotic process automation and advanced analytics were the top technologies that they believe can deliver benefits for their business.

About 45 per cent of outperforming company CEOs in India expect AI/Machine Learning to deliver results in the next 2-3 years.

“We are living in an all-pervasive digital world and enterprises must transform with speed to remain relevant and win,” said Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia, in a statement.

Outperforming company CEOs are also more focused on partnerships, according to the IBV study.

In India, 55 per cent of outperforming CEOs surveyed said partnerships have become more important for driving business performance while only about half as many underperformers said the same.

In addition, 41 per cent of company CEOs in India report they plan to prioritise employee well-being even if it affects near-term profitability.

The study polled 3,000 CEOs across 26 industries and nearly 50 countries including India – 111 CEOs.

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