Business leaders aren’t good enough to run digital strategies, employees believe

In what could be a worrying sign for a lot of businesses in the UK, a survey has revealed that a third of all employees don't believe that business leaders are capable of leading and running a modern digital infrastructure effectively.

The lack of trust may hamper the preparation of business leaders for Brexit, varied cyber threats, as well as the upcoming data protection law.

The lack of trust in enterprise leadership, which may impact their preparedness for upcoming challenges, was revealed by a survey of over 1,000 professionals in the UK by software firm Advanced. What employees really want is for business leaders to be able to embrace change, make bold decisions, and react with pace.

In fact, 82% of respondents said that the most important attribute they want to see in their leaders is the ability to reimagine a business. While many businesses have now shifted to a flexible and flat organisational structure which overcomes several disadvantages like poor communication, increased bureaucracy and an inability to drive change easily, as many as 36% professionals still do not have the right tools to do their job effectively. Half of such professionals admitted that if they are armed with the right tools, their productivity would increase by as much as 50%.

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In terms of their organisations' ability to comply with the upcoming GDPR, 25% of employees are either unsure or not confident about their business leaders' readiness for GDPR by the time it takes effect. As many as 35% of employees are also not confident about whether their businesses have connected, organisational-wide views of their business-critical data.

'We are in a new customer centric era, in which businesses that fail to embrace and adopt technology to improve customer experience will be at a significant competitive disadvantage,' says Adam Carson, Managing Director at BA CityFlyer.

A few days ago, a survey of 600 senior IT decision makers from the UK and the U.S. also revealed the lack of confidence that IT decision makers have on their organisation's ability to adjust to the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats landscape.

The survey revealed that while 54% of cyber security professionals don't have the tools they need to combat cyber crimes, 55% can't react quickly enough to limit damage, and 79% of professionals believe that their organisations can't access insights to prioritise their response.

Such challenges, the decision makers said, may 'dramatically impact their ability to defend their organisations from cybercrime' and unless they are addressed quickly, will expose businesses to significant cyber threats.

'Having any one of these four areas -- resources, preparation, detection and overarching strategy -- in crisis is dangerous. Combined, they're the harbinger of security disaster for any organisation,' said Ray Rothrock, CEO and chairman of RedSeal.

The two surveys, conducted within days of each other, have come up with similar findings on what employees feel about business leaders' preparedness against upcoming challenges as well as sophisticated cyber threats. Enterprise leaders should not only make cyber security a board-level issue, but should also be ready to make quick decisions and adapt to changing times to win back the confidence of their employees.