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Tech Leaders Talk About Their Biggest Challenges In 2022

Tech Leaders Talk About Their Biggest Challenges In 2022

It’s never been a more exciting—or stressful—time to be a tech leader. Those working in tech-focused companies have long dealt with the challenges of a constantly innovating, rapidly evolving industry. But even those tech leaders whose companies’ primary customer-facing product or service isn’t tech-related have in many cases seen their role evolve from a support position to a key member of the leadership team.

From talent shortages to remote work to digital transformation, every day seems to bring a new challenge to tech leaders and their teams. Here, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss the biggest challenges they’re facing in today’s tech industry and how they’re forging a path ahead.

1. Attracting Talent In A Remote Work World

It’s always about people! With the right team, both strategy and execution fall into place. So the biggest challenge for tech leaders is attracting and retaining talent. Remote work is here, and both established companies and startups now hire anywhere in the world. Yes, your pool of applicants has expanded, but it leads to new challenges. How do you differentiate your company enough to make it an attractive place to work? How do you onboard people remotely? How do you build culture via Zoom and Slack? – Alyona Medelyan, Thematic

2. Retaining Talent

The biggest challenge today is retaining talent, even more so than attracting it. Many people leave their jobs because of their leaders, a lack of flexibility or the impossibility of reconciling their work and personal lives. There are no longer physical barriers; it’s a completely open and global market. We must look for new ways to generate commitment and efficiency, leaving behind any model of micromanagement. People must know how to manage themselves, and team leaders must act based on OKRs. – Miguel Llorca, Torrent Group


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3. Balancing Growth And Financial Discipline

The biggest challenge today for a technology company is maintaining growth while managing financial discipline. Many tech teams became accustomed to the “grow at all costs” mentality when cheap capital was readily available. Adjusting that mindset as an organization and figuring out how to achieve expected growth without the same resources is the key challenge most commonly being dealt with today by tech teams. – Alex Song, Proxima

4. Funding New Technology Solutions

Innovative technology is often underdeployed due to a lack of sufficient capital. Users who wish to leverage available solutions often need to find an alternative to traditional funding streams. In the higher education sector, many leaders have opted for an asset concession methodology to monetize the mechanical systems of the university. This level of capital planning affords off-balance-sheet funding that can accelerate completion of a master plan by years. – Ronald Bordelon, CORE Energy, Ltd.

5. Focusing On Business Needs First

The biggest challenge facing technology teams is focusing too much on technology and not enough on the business outcomes the technology is supposed to support. Advancements in AI/ML, blockchain, data fabrics, the cloud and more are all exciting, but IT leaders who focus only on technologies will fail to optimize the value of these capabilities for their organizations. The focus should be on understanding business needs first and then on the technologies needed to enable them. – Malcolm Hawker, Profisee

6. Balancing Future Strategy With Tactical Challenges

Fostering a mindset of purposeful innovation and all it entails has been undermined or replaced by the tactical challenges we face across the industry, yet it will likely have devastating impacts in the long term. Don’t sacrifice your future strategy for the sake of executing today. Hire and develop teams with the skill, creativity and grit needed to navigate the many failures that precede success. – Daniela Moody, Arturo

7. Doing The ‘Dirty Work’ Of Digital Transformation

When pursuing digital transformation (DX), many organizations rush to the tech, such as migrating workloads to the cloud, modernizing apps and so on. While these activities are great, downstream DX never really scales without active C-level leadership and accountability. Execs must intentionally do the “dirty work” of DX, such as removing silos and other barriers to change, adjusting leader mindsets and dispensing with legacy structures or conventions to ensure that real value can be sustained over the long term. – Ricardo Madan, TEKsystems

8. The Increased ‘Power’ That Comes From Modern Tech Stacks

“With great power comes greater responsibility” may sound like a cliché, but when you think about it, the evolution of the IT tech stack coupled with the increased adoption of cloud computing has afforded teams access to limitless resources and information at a flick of a finger. Never before have employees so low on an org chart had the ability to influence an entire company’s balance sheets with a single action (or lack of action). This is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. – Amit Eyal Govrin, Kubiya.ai

9. Meeting Customers’ Growing Expectations

Keeping up with advancements in technology, the fast pace of software releases and product-led growth initiatives combine to create unique challenges for tech teams. Customers today expect self-serve products and fast, automated responses to their support requests, as well as a top-notch product experience. – Palak Dalal Bhatia, IrisAgent

10. Providing End-To-End Solutions

Customers are demanding faster time to value. A technology vendor providing fundamental or horizontal technology to a customer may not have all the domain knowledge (and timeliness) needed to get applications developed and into production. One way to alleviate this is to offer more no-code/low-code and business intelligence tools to empower customers to do more. You can also work with domain experts and partners to provide faster end-to-end solutions to customers across industries. – Yu Xu, TigerGraph

11. The Need To Be Increasingly Agile

We are experiencing unprecedented evolution in the technology environment and in the ways in which tech teams form and work together. The fast pace of innovation, a lack of skilled resources and the pressure to leverage distributed teams are among the utmost pressing challenges. Now more than ever, agility is the key to tackling these hurdles—not with a command-driven methodology but with a change in our mindsets, rapidly adapting to new conditions by keeping the focus on what really creates value. – Massimiliano Pesce, Urbana Smart Solutions

12. Balancing Performance With Managing Risk

It’s a great—and challenging—time to be a tech leader. Their impact is extending beyond traditional boundaries. They must drive performance and customer satisfaction while managing the risks of digital change. As their impact grows, these leaders have a unique opportunity to position tech as a value generator and transition toward a circular strategy that considers the entire device lifecycle. – Carmen Ene, 3stepIT

13. Innovation’s Impact On Employee Satisfaction

Good tech teams tend to consist of inventive individuals who are early adopters of the latest and greatest innovations. However, the technology curve typically runs in advance of day-to-day business, which can prevent team members from “scratching that technical itch,” leading to despondency and ultimately the departure of good people. Businesses that support and promote innovation alongside the day-to-day will realize increased staff retention and the many other benefits that fostering innovation brings. – Christopher Dean, Digital Tactics Ltd.

14. Enhancing Collaboration

In 2022, a big challenge is enhancing collaboration across teams and departments. With the financial situation taking a turn, it will be interesting to see how teamwork can be improved to enable better and more productive results. This should result in a significant, cost-effective impact on an organization while maintaining high-quality execution and a positive work environment. – Adi Polak, lakeFS.io

15. Managing Multigenerational Teams

Generational competency is a challenge. Tech teams now have four generations represented: Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials and Gen-Zers. Each has different values, communication preferences and expectations of their workplaces. If leaders try to lead with a “one size fits all” approach, attrition will be high and the team will never meet its potential. Leaders need to get up to speed on this as soon as possible. – Jerich Beason, Capital One

16. Creating An Inspiring Company Culture

Growing and maintaining a strong tech team—both in terms of culture and innovation— is critical to creating a solution that drives significant impact. It really starts with your company’s DNA. What do you value? How do you create a culture that inspires ideas, autonomy and accountability? Can your team see their dreams come true under the umbrella of the company vision? How do you lead as a transformational instead of a transactional leader? Focus on this, and you will see results. – Brad Redding, Elevar

What do you think?

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