Pulse Survey Results

Part of the The Digital Leadership Report

What's on the minds of Digital Leaders right now


Budget Sentiment


Board Priorities




Hybrid working

A message from Bev White, CEO, Nash Squared

"This Pulse Survey paints a picture of great change, often in difficult circumstances. But it also paints a picture of opportunity, new technologies and new markets to pursue. For the digital leader, the next 12 months presents a unique opportunity to increase impact in their organisation. Few roles touch so many important moving parts. We have said this before on Digital Leadership Reports, but it doesn’t make it less true: it has never been a more exciting time to be a digital leader. Our next Digital Leadership Report will be published in early 2025. ”

Bev White, CEO Harvey Nash Group

Six things you need to know

Investment up, despite economic headwinds

Despite a difficult and unpredictable global economy, investment in technology remains relatively strong – in the next 12 months over four in ten expect to increase tech budgets, and one third to increase tech headcount. Of those organisations being held back by the economy, there is an expectation that things will look up in 6-9 months.

A focus on efficiency

The top priority for digital leaders is to improve the efficiency of operations, typically through automation, AI and better use of data. This efficiency focus ties up with previous downturns the DLR has tracked. That said, three in ten still see the revenue generation potential of technology as their top priority. Boards are looking for technology to improve both top line and bottom line.

GenAI widely adopted

Almost three-quarters of organisations have deployed GenAI to at least some extent to their employees, and one in five have deployed it enterprise-wide. This rapid adoption will no doubt continue, facilitated by the relative simplicity and low costs of implementation, at least in these first phases. Organisations are also rushing out stronger governance, although have little confidence in its effectiveness.

Most still looking for a business case for GenAI

While deployment of GenAI has been rapid, there has been mixed success in its impact. Over half feel a lack of business case is holding them back, others are concerned by misuse of the tools. Of those that have deployed GenAI, one quarter report little or no impact on their organisation. The vast majority of GenAI uses have been as a personal productivity tool, although we do see some more ‘transformational’ use cases emerging.

The birth of the Chief AI Officer

For the majority of organisations, the AI strategy sits with the technology leader; typically the CIO or CTO. But for others that responsibility will lie with the Chief AI Officer (CAIO). One in twenty organisations have one, a similar proportion expect to appoint one – so we can expect over time that one in ten organisations will have a CAIO.

Hybrid working come of age?

Since our last DLR in late 2023, one in six organisations have increased the number of days expected in the office, moving the typical time expected there from 2-3 days, to 3 days. And they seem happy with the results, four in ten report it working ‘extremely well’, a big jump from our last report. But there are potential consequences to this change. More days in the office can make an organisation less attractive to potential hires, especially those with caring responsibilities.

About this report

The Digital Leadership Report Pulse Survey was created to provide a mid-year update to our annual Digital Leadership Report (DLR) which was last published in November 2023.

The Pulse Survey was undertaken in May 2024 and captures the views of 322 digital leaders on key factors that may have changed in the last six months.

Most had taken part in our annual DLR, allowing us to supplement the data of this shorter Pulse Survey with a more extended data set (2,104 responses).

The average technology budget was US$5-$10million. Responses came from 24 countries and job roles included: CIO / CTO / Director 53%, Head of tech / digital 20%, Technology practitioner 19%,  CEO/MD 7%.

Our next annual Digital Leadership Report will be published in February 2025.
Pulse Survey Cover

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