After seven months, over 150,000 data points collected, from across 82 countries and a mix of in-person and virtual events hosted across the globe, Nash Squared’s Digital Leadership Report (DLR) made its way back to London. Having launched this year’s results from the seat of the UK government at the Houses of Parliament in November, there was time for one final event.
A beautiful summer’s evening saw over 90 guests join teams from Harvey Nash, Flexhuis, Spinks and Nash Tech in Spitalfields, to not only consider the reports data but also question just how far the world has moved since its launch.
A year is a long time in technology
The DLR talks about speed and the pace of change being quicker than ever. That speed has already called into question the relevance of the data faster than we could have imagined.
The data collected in 2022 told us that investment in Cloud was a priority, but money was being shifted away from data and analytics driven by the perceived difficulty in extracting value from any investment. It was clear from our event debate that this is no longer the case.
Unsurprisingly, the implications of generative AI on business were high on the agenda, and the questions from the audience reflected the urgency for a guidebook to navigate this new normal. Our initial launch event was on the 8th of November and ChatGPT was released to the public on the 30th of November which showcases the pace of change and what impact this can have on technology trends and agendas.
David Savage (chairing the discussion) asked Milan Juza, CTO of the Gym Group, what impact generative AI was having on business, and what his feeling was toward it’s adoption.
“There is a understandably a lot of experimentation happening (with different AI) but we need to understand what these technologies are, how they work and what they can do safely? At the same time how reliable is this technology?”
When he flipped the discussion and asked who was using generative AI, the entire room put their hand-up. It only emphasized Milan’s points regarding safety, with guardrails and regulation a must to protect consumers and employees.
Slow progress, but progress at last
The DLR also reported that progress was (finally) being made in the battle to create a more inclusive and diverse industry. Numbers of women in the industry are up, as are those from wider minority groups, but plenty of challenges remain and gender parity will still take six decades to achieve. Incidentally our data suggests a faster progression than the World Economic Forum, who believe that milestone is still three centuries away from being realized.
Representation of diverse backgrounds was still noticeably thin around the boardroom, with women holding just 14% of those positions.
Catherine Wright (Director, Corporate Banking at HSBC Innovation Banking) was on hand to add real substance to the discussion. Having set up the Employee Resource Group within her own business she was keen to stress that technology companies with diverse leadership teams are also the best performing companies in the sector, and more had to be done to help women get into the boardroom.
“What you find is that as you go up the ladder, that’s where we see that drop off. The question is how to stop that drop-off. You shouldn’t have to make a choice between family and your career, but family-life balance is still a major stumbling block.”
It’s crucial to look beyond the horizon
Amy Williams (Business Banking CIO at Barclays UK) and Georgina Owen (CTO at William Hill) completed the panel, sharing their own questions for peers. Whilst investments in cloud are keeping digital leaders busy today, what are the priorities for tomorrow? There are so many huge challenges facing society and technology and the digital leader has a huge role to play.
What was clear from the tone of the conversation was that this is an industry in need of collaboration and clear-thinking. The implications of the misuse of technology and its consequences have never been more keenly felt.
To review the data from this year’s DLR, and to contribute to our 25th edition please head to https://www.nashsquared.com/2023-digital-leadership-report
After our panel discussion we were delighted to be joined by Lis Evenstad, managing Editor of Computer Weekly to announce the 13th annual most influential people in UK technology. This list of the top 50 tech leaders in the UK is determined by an expert judging panel and reader vote, to showcase individuals who have the most influence over the future of the UK tech sector.
Congratulations to our joint winners Michelle Dolean and Chloe Smith, secretary of state for science, innovation and technology, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. You can discover the full list here.
Overall we were delighted to host and provide an opportunity for digital leaders from around the country to discuss and explore the latest developments across the technology landscape and it is rapidly evolving with tremendous pace.
To be notified for upcoming events similar to this please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Digital Leadership Report
In its 24th year, the Nash Squared Digital Leadership report has given vast insight into the minds of digital leaders and the challenges they have faced. With 1,785 participants across 82 countries, the report has now grown to be one of the most influential global studies on technology strategies and the role of a digital leader today. In the 2022 recent study, we observe the fallout from the pandemic that kickstarted the digital revolution and the impact of recent economic disruptions on technology strategy. With rising talent shortages, increasing customer expectations and cyber security concerns, it is clear that the landscape is once again changing.
We are thrilled to invite you to participate in our Special 25th Anniversary Edition of the Nash Squared Digital Leadership Report: https://www.nashsquared.com/2023-digital-leadership-report