3 Areas of Focus for C-Suite Leaders in 2022

Community Blog
Written by Clare Ryan

MAY 5, 2022

Evanta surveys thousands of C-level executives in our communities around the world to ascertain their most critical priorities for the year ahead. This annual Leadership Perspective Survey provides key insights into what executives are focusing on and guides our content, discussions and agendas for all community gatherings for the year.

It also offers the ability to compare priorities across roles in the C-suite. In 2022, with more than 2,800 executives responding, the top priorities across the enterprise are as follows:

  1. Driving growth
  2. Increasing operational efficiencies and productivity
  3. Digital business acceleration

After a couple of highly unusual years filled with business uncertainty on the back of a global pandemic, it could be that leaders are looking at 2022 as an opportunity to move on from recovery mode and get their organizations back into growth mode. Many businesses are probably looking for that growth in another one of the top three areas of focus — digital business acceleration. 

As one CIO said about emerging from the pandemic, “What are we now doing differently? Are we becoming more focused on pushing the digital agenda?” Executives may be wondering what other challenges or surprises lie ahead, while they drive their key initiatives forward. Another leader noted that their objective was “to ensure acceleration for digital – and succeed with it.”

These enterprise priorities have shifted slightly since 2021 when the top three looked like this:

  1. Increasing operational efficiencies and productivity
  2. Driving growth
  3. Improving customer experience

In the past year, growth has moved up to number one, increasing operational efficiencies moved down one, and digital business acceleration moved into the top three, pushing customer experience down to number four on the list of executive priorities across the enterprise.

There are also some differences depending on the executive’s role in the C-suite.

How do each role’s priorities stack up against the responses of the full C-suite? For CIOs, their priorities match the full C-suite exactly. For CISOs and CHROs, one of their key functional priorities moves into the top three enterprise priorities. For CISOs, it’s reducing risk, and for CHROs, it’s employee satisfaction and engagement – no surprise given recent events around cybersecurity attacks and the Great Reshuffling, respectively, for either of those initiatives to become a higher priority among those executives. For CDAOs, they are closely aligned with the overall C-suite, but prioritize customer experience a bit higher than other roles do. 

What’s interesting to note is the opportunities for collaboration across the C-suite, given their shared goals and objectives. How might C-suite leaders work together to drive growth when all of them consider it a high priority this year? How can they create efficiencies and improve productivity together, knowing that it is highly important to multiple leaders in the organization? And for those leaders with a functional area that is in their top three, how might they collaborate with and influence their C-suite peers to achieve their goals?

When your top three priorities for the enterprise are nearly identical, there should be plenty of opportunities to align on them. As we wrote last year, it’s key to recognize these shared objectives and strategize in collaboration, rather than in silos within their own functional areas. Leaders can also find opportunities when they recognize what is driving and motivating their peers in other departments.

If you’re looking for more ways to collaborate across the C-suite or with peers in your role, find your local Evanta community here on our website or join an upcoming discussion on one of your top priorities.