Key Priorities & Opportunities for the C-Suite in 2024

Community Blog
Written by Clare Ryan

APRIL 16, 2024

Every year, Evanta conducts our proprietary Leadership Perspective Survey among the members of our C-level communities around the world. Executives share their functional and enterprise priorities, goals and challenges and planned investment areas. We use this community member input to create the most timely and relevant topics and agendas for our programs, ensuring that they are truly driven by and for C-level executives. 

Our annual survey also provides the opportunity to compare enterprise priorities across all the C-suite roles that we serve. In 2024, more than 3,700 executives have responded to the survey to date, and their top enterprise priority is increasing operational efficiencies and productivity – the same top priority as in 2023.

Top Priorities Across the Enterprise in 2024

  1. Increasing operational efficiencies and productivity
  2. Driving growth
  3. Optimizing or reducing costs
  4. Increasing revenue
  5. Digital business acceleration

Notably, C-suite leaders cite exactly the same top three enterprise priorities this year as last year – centered on efficiencies, productivity, growth and optimization. It could be the economic environment, which has some lingering uncertainty, contributing to the emphasis on cost reduction and operational efficiencies. 

It’s also possible that the topic on every business leader’s mind – artificial intelligence (AI) – could be a factor. With the enormous potential of AI and generative AI to create efficiencies, reduce redundant tasks and improve productivity, executives may be focusing on how they can harness the technology to their organizations’ benefit this year.

In addition, digital business acceleration dropped one spot this year, from #4 to #5, while increasing revenue moved into the top five priorities for C-level executives. Improving customer experience dropped to #7.

These were the top five enterprise priorities across the C-suite in 2023.

Top Priorities Across the Enterprise in 2023

  1. Increasing operational efficiencies and productivity
  2. Driving growth
  3. Optimizing or reducing costs
  4. Digital business acceleration
  5. Improving customer experience

In terms of where executives plan to focus in 2024, there are also some similarities across the C-suite roles.

C-Suite Alignment on Priorities

For the first time in recent memory, increasing operational efficiencies and productivity is the top enterprise priority for all of the C-level roles. It landed in the top three for every role last year and has increased in importance in 2024. There could be two factors at play – organizations trying to produce more out of what they already have invested in, while still finding room to invest in AI and its possibilities for increasing efficiencies. 

The persistent need to drive growth is felt across the C-suite, with all roles except for CISOs placing it second on the list of enterprise priorities. (And that’s only because CISOs place reducing risk second on the list, followed by driving growth.) Optimizing or reducing costs and increasing revenue remain top five enterprise priorities for nearly all roles. 

C-suite leaders are in close alignment on their enterprise priorities this year, opening the door for opportunities to collaborate. With leaders in such close alignment on the prioritization for enterprise initiatives, imagine how peers across the C-suite could work together to achieve their objectives. Competing priorities is often cited as a challenge for executives, but at least on an enterprise level with their C-suite peers, that appears to be less of an issue in 2024. 

Of course, we also ask executives about their functional priorities in our survey, and those responses are different for each role. However, even functional priorities had one area of alignment this year – AI. Generative and traditional AI is the #1 functional priority for CDAOs, #3 for CIOs and #5 for CISOs. While not in the top five of their functional priorities, CHROs currently rank it #7 and CFOs #8 – still in the top ten for both. That one of their functional initiatives aligns with their peers’ is unique and demonstrates the game-changing nature of AI and generative AI for business leaders.

We asked C-level leaders about AI specifically last June in a community pulse survey, and more than half were already using generative AI tools at their organizations – although many were in an experimenting and learning phase. Stay tuned for our upcoming community survey this spring where we plan to check in with them again and understand their progress on implementing AI at their organizations.

Is AI a top priority for you this year? To connect with C-level peers on all of your mission critical priorities, we invite you to join an Evanta community near you. If you are already a member of an Evanta community, check out MyEvanta to view upcoming opportunities to get together in person and virtually with your peers.