CEOs should rise from technology ranks according to VMware survey across EMEA

Rasheed Al Omari, Principal Business Solutions Strategist, SEMEA VMware.

CEOs and executive leadership positions should be filled by people with technology career backgrounds, such as application or software development, if businesses are to be more successful, says 80% of business leaders in the UAE.

New research commissioned by VMware finds international recognition that elevating technology team members into leadership roles drives significant value for the entire organisation. When identifying specific benefits, 70% of business leaders in the UAE highlight improved efficiency across the whole organisation, a figure that was 20% higher than the EMEA average, while 50% recognise increased business performance, 58% greater innovation potential, and 50% better customer experiences.

This sits against a backdrop of seismic disruption, where digital transformation has been validated in helping leaders and their organisations adapt to fast-changing market dynamics, changing business models and employee mobilisation. During the pandemic, UAE businesses highlight the benefits of modernised applications, for example, to enhance their performance and resilience. 63% of respondents highlighted the role of modernised apps to enable employees to work remotely, and 42% referenced their ability to continuously push updates in response to the changing landscape, while 49% said it would enable reliable uptime.

In fact, 90% of application developers and technology leaders in the UAE believe that without successfully modernising applications, organisations will not be able to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. This is echoed by the global executive community; more than 80% of whom believe that enhancing application portfolios will improve the customer experience, which is directly tied to revenue growth.

A competitive advantage, born out of the continuous development and delivery of new applications and services, is also reinforced by the findings, which reveal that high-performing companies in EMEA have a more efficient and effective development rate of applications. 66% of new applications make it through to production in high-performing companies, compared to 41% within underperforming organisations, while 70% of application efforts make it to production in the planned timeframe in high-performing organisations, compared with just 41% in underperforming.

“Business leaders have never been at the helm of so much change, so those with an inherent knowledge of technology and an understanding of how applications can help them adapt to any market conditions and shape their future performance and resiliency have a real advantage. Indeed, three quarters of the world’s business leaders agree that a technology inside leadership skillset will bring success,” said Rasheed Al-Omari, Principal Business Solutions Strategist, SEMEA, VMware. “From the tens of millions of people and students now working and educating from home to Governments creating contacting tracing apps in months, to banks being able to scale to provide significant revenue streams, to businesses and retailers looking at digital platform options almost overnight, this pandemic has driven a decade of digital transformation in a few months.”