The #1 Challenge facing tech CEOs today

More importantly, how to address it in a professional, practical and sustainable way.


This is not a sale, or for you to use my services, so why should you listen to me? Well, I have been engaging with tech CEOs of varying size organizations for the last two decades.

This post will look at how CEOs in the tech environment can deal with the challenges facing their business in a hugely shifting landscape. 

I will look at some of the broader issues and then drill into the number one (#1 challenge) faced by today’s CEOs. 

Then I will share some ways that I have been helping CEOs. 

What is a CEO and what do they do?

Before we go looking into the challenges CEOs face, let’s be very clear. SO what exactly is a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? 

Well, according to Investopedia: A chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking executive in a company. Broadly speaking, a chief executive officer’s primary responsibilities include making major corporate decisions, driving the workforce and resources of a company toward strategic goals, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations. 

In many cases, the chief executive officer serves as the public face of the company. In many ways the CEOs are very much B2B Key Persons of influence.

Depending on the size of the organization, the CEO is elected by the board and its shareholders. They report to the chair and the board, who are appointed by shareholders.

CEOs who run Technology Businesses

CEOs of tech companies face a unique set of challenges distinct from those in other industries. Though many of the challenges are not solely unique to them, CEOs have a powerful and pivitol role in a company’s success.

Digital Transformation

B2B tech CEOs face the need to constantly innovate and integrate new technologies to stay competitive. Digital transformation involves adopting digital solutions to enhance operations, customer experiences, and business models.

Why It’s a Challenge

  • Complexity and Cost –  Implementing new technologies can be expensive and complex. According to IDC, global spending on digital transformation is expected to reach $2.8 trillion by 2025, illustrating the significant investment required.
  • Resistance to Change –  Organizational resistance to change can slow down digital initiatives. A McKinsey survey found that only 16% of respondents reported that their digital transformations successfully improved performance and sustained changes in the long term.
  • Skill Gaps – There is a shortage of skilled professionals to implement and manage new technologies. A survey by CompTIA indicates that 86% of CEOs are concerned about the tech talent gap impacting their ability to execute digital strategies.

Cybersecurity Threats

With increasing digitalization, B2B tech companies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures is essential to protect sensitive data and maintain client trust.

Why It’s a Challenge

  • Increasing Threat Landscape – The volume and sophistication of cyberattacks are growing. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
  • Compliance and Regulations – Adhering to various regulations like GDPR and CCPA is complex and costly. A Deloitte survey found that 91% of CEOs are involved in managing cyber risks, highlighting its significance.
  • Reputation and Trust – A breach can severely damage a company’s reputation. IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023 states that the average cost of a data breach is $4.45 million, impacting customer trust and financial stability.

Market Competition and Innovation

The tech industry is highly competitive, with rapid advancements and new entrants continuously disrupting the market. CEOs must drive innovation to differentiate their products and services.

Why It’s a Challenge

  • R&D Investment – Significant investment in research and development is required to stay ahead. According to PwC’s Global Innovation 1000 study, tech companies represent a large portion of the top R&D spenders globally.
  • Speed to Market – The pace at which new technologies are developed and brought to market is accelerating. A Boston Consulting Group survey highlights that 70% of executives consider innovation a top three priority.
  • Customer Expectations – B2B customers demand innovative solutions that offer a competitive edge. Gartner reports that 87% of businesses expect their primary market to be disrupted by digital innovations within the next three years.

Talent Acquisition and Retention

Attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for the growth and innovation of B2B tech companies. Skilled professionals are essential to drive digital transformation and maintain a competitive edge.

Why It’s a Challenge

  • High Demand for Skills: The tech industry faces a shortage of skilled workers, with a CompTIA report stating that 40% of tech firms struggle to find suitable candidates.
  • Retention Issues – High turnover rates can disrupt projects and lead to increased recruitment costs. The Work Institute’s Retention Report indicates that the cost of replacing an employee can be 33% of their annual salary.
  • Employee Expectations –  Millennials and Gen Z workers prioritize work-life balance, career development, and company culture, requiring CEOs to adapt their strategies to meet these expectations.

Regulatory Compliance

Navigating the complex landscape of international regulations and ensuring compliance is a critical concern for B2B tech CEOs. Regulations cover data protection, privacy, trade, and more.

Why It’s a Challenge:

  • Evolving Regulations –  Keeping up with constantly changing regulations across different regions is demanding. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) notes that more than 130 jurisdictions now have data protection laws.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance – Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions. For instance, European GDPR fines can reach up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is higher.
  • Operational Impact – Implementing compliance measures can be resource-intensive, diverting attention from core business activities.

The #1 Challenge facing tech CEOs today

The number one challenge CEOs tell us is creating sustainable business growth.

Understanding the circle of fear

  • What you are doing – One of the biggest mistakes we see is the stop start effect. You try one thing, give it a month, it doesn’t work, try something new, that doesn’t work, try something new – and each time it becomes more frustrating, worrying and to be honest knocks your confidence!
  • Don’t do it – Don’t throw good budget after bad at multiple channels hoping something might stick. The channels and ads are not the problem.
  • This strategy won’t get you new business because you have not defined who you are, why customers need you, what value you add, and why they should choose you over any alternative solution out there.

What your CMO & CRO are doing – and why you need to step in

The CMO role and challenge

Your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in a tech company plays a pivotal role in driving the company’s growth and market presence by blending strategic vision with technological insights – providing that there is a strategy there in the first place. 

Their responsibilities encompass overseeing the development and execution of comprehensive marketing strategies that align with the company’s business objectives. This includes brand positioning, demand generation, product marketing, and customer engagement initiatives. 

A tech CMO must stay attuned to the latest digital marketing trends, data analytics, and emerging technologies to effectively target and reach the desired audience. Additionally, they collaborate closely with other departments, such as sales, product development, and customer service, to ensure a cohesive approach to market challenges and opportunities. 

By leveraging their deep understanding of the tech landscape, they drive innovation in marketing practices, enhance the company’s competitive edge, and contribute significantly to revenue growth and customer loyalty.

What CMOs and the marketing team are trying – 

  • increasing budgets on LinkedIn ads
  • changing the creatives again
  • reviewing the tracking to check its working
  • fixing the conversion form
  • broadening who you sell to
  • having product add new functionality to the product
  • updating the website content
  • blaming sales for not following up leads

However none of this is working!


Unlike CMOs and CROs, the CEO has a constant challenge of creating sustainable growth that incorporates leadership, innovation as well making sure that the organization is implementing  the business model that has been designed to achieve goals as outlined to the board, stakeholders and potential investors. 

All of these functions are reliant on a strong product/solution that is marketed, generates interest and converts into sales revenue, delivered by the right teams internally, supported by outside third parties.

How can we help fix this cycle

We have worked with many CEOs within B2B software companies who are in the exact same boat as you, and helped them to grow.

We know the challenges and pain CEOs face and the need to constantly juggle a changing landscape.

So, knowing the pain, we have evolved with the changes in the market and developments of technology, to help B2B software companies like yours – think differently to achieve growth.

The one reason you are not reaching your goal

There is a lack of clear and implementable strategy that is preventing you from reaching your goal.

How we help

We start by identifying some of the key points below.

  • What true numbers you need to hit, if and how you can get there…and by when
  • A clearly defined ICP – for the purpose of messaging
  • What value you add to your clients – and why it is different and more suitable for them than the alternatives
  • What your customers currently see from you – a digital footprint and brand messaging and consistency
  • How, what, where and when we can address the challenges standing in your way, and pave a way to success.

You can do all of these yourself, we have no magic wand, however we do have experience and have tried and tested ways to work on each area efficiently. If you have the time, marketing capabilities and follow the strategy there is no reason you can’t do this yourself.

Why clients use us

  • They feel like they are stuck in a rut and no matter what they try is just isn’t working
  • They need help finding the barriers – sometimes you can be too close to things that you can’t see the problems standing right in front of you
  • They need clarification and additional expertise – due to our longevity within the B2B software marketing space and the vast number of clients we have worked with, we have learned so many faux pas along the way and what works and what doesn’t.
  • They needed short term guidance to get them back on track
  • They needed ongoing Check ins to help them keep consistent and stay on track

Who we are not right for

  • Businesses who are not looking to change or embrace outside advice
  • Those who place no value on marketing
  • Those who think they are already where they need to be
  • Businesses who think their brand and value is already clearly defined 

Addressing the challenges 

A joined-up strategy is the best way to address these challenges as it ensures a cohesive approach, leveraging strengths across the organization. 

By integrating digital transformation efforts, enhancing cybersecurity measures, fostering innovation, developing robust talent management strategies, and ensuring regulatory compliance, B2B tech CEOs can create a resilient and adaptive organization. 

This holistic approach allows for better resource allocation, improved risk management, and a unified direction, ultimately driving sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

Some success stories

Case studies

See if we’re the right fit 

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