Economy is biggest CEO concern and social media top opportunity, finds IBM

Chief executives are most concerned about pressures on the economy, according to IBM’s 16th annual CEO Study, which questioned 1,700 business leaders.

Presenting the findings at SAP’s Forum in London, Todd Kirtley IBM general manager, said concerns about the economy topped CEOs’ worries and “predictions are impossible”.

Technology adoption is also an issue with 71% of CEOs stating it is their biggest challenge.

Social media is viewed as an opportunity going forward with businesses increasingly getting cues from other individuals via blogs, tweets, Facebook and YouTube.

“CEOs get it but only 16% of CEOs think their organisations get it,” said Kirtley. 

CMOs are the biggest users of data and information technology and are increasingly tapping into social media, the survey found.

However, they are drowning in data, said Kirtley and there is a need to transform data to insights.

“CMOs want help,” he said.

IBM’s 2011 survey of CIOs found collaboration and social networking high on their list of priorities. This year the top challenges are spending on maintenance versus innovation; a need to be transformational and a pioneer in the realms of social media.