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CEOs are under pressure to perform, and the outlook for many doesn't seem good.

Why are CEOs so mixed about their job security?

| Corporate insights

There are some jobs that inherently have very little job security. Taxi drivers, journalists and housekeepers all worry about their careers as they find their industries threatened by digital disruption, consumer trends and labour costs respectively.

In the 10 most and least secure jobs in Australia, CEOs remain the only professionals who fall into both categories.

Other professionals are less concerned. School teachers, police officers and religious ministers all feel like their job security is particularly strong, according to new research by Roy Morgan. With high levels of job security felt by around 17 per cent of the Australian population, these three professions are some of the most stable in the country.

So, where do CEOs stand? Interestingly enough, they are both some of the most secure and least secure in the country today – and it doesn't take a genius to work out why.

In total, 40 per cent of CEOs rate their job security as very good. However, 15 per cent say it is "poor", which is way above the 6 per cent nationwide average. In the 10 most and least secure jobs in Australia, CEOs remain the only professionals who fall into both categories

Research suggests many CEOs could soon be out of a job,Research suggests many CEOs could soon be out of a job.

What's making them concerned?

The use of information is causing huge levels of digital disruption, and it is the CEO who remains responsible for allocating their resources in the best way possible. By ignoring their organisation's Information Assets, effective data management is proving impossible, and their companies are falling behind the pack.

43 per cent of CEOs have spent the last two years undertaking information management initiatives.

In the meantime, some of the most forward-thinking CEOs understand that information is driving modern businesses forward, and they've used their resources to create a data-driven strategy. After all, it's not fortune that has made Spotify, Uber and Airbnb market leaders in their fields – it's the use of data to digitally disrupt their entire industries.

The proportion of CEOs who feel safe in their position also correlates to the percentage of them who have started proactively managing their information, according to a recent Oracle survey. The company polled 2,800 organisations and found that 43 per cent of CEOs have spent the last two years undertaking information management initiatives in "data governance, data integration, data quality, master data management and data virtualization".

It's an undeniable sign that CEOs are split into two distinct groups, and it's the use of information that's making some fear for their futures.

Data is proving the difference for Australian CEOs.Data is proving the difference for Australian CEOs.

What's holding CEOs back?

As the old axiom goes: if it's so good, why isn't everyone doing it? Well, many are trying to create best practice around their data use, but are finding conditions difficult. Oracle also found that the largest obstacles a CEO faced with their information management projects are:

  • Insufficient staffing (68 per cent)
  • Inadequate budget (63 per cent)
  • Insufficient skills and training (59 per cent)

While it might take some reallocation of resources to get the majority of businesses in a position to actively use their Information Assets, it's not an impossible task. Simply going back to basics is a proven method for making substantial cost savings, with which a company can reinvest into a data initiative.

However, there are plenty who are heading in the wrong direction entirely.

Delegated authority is needed, because everyone handles information.Delegated authority is needed, because everyone handles information.

Avoiding the mistakes of others

One of the biggest problems at the moment is that CEOs simply don't know who to make accountable for information resources (like a CFO is in charge of finances), and it's causing them to make some knee-jerk reactions.

CEOs will soon find their magical silver bullets are void of any gunpowder.

A chief information officer (CIO) was one of the first attempts, and it's sad to see the chief data officer (CDO) recently rise to become another ill-formed position with no real accountability.

In a bid to bring people in with the right training and skills – solving two of those largest obstacles to data management success – all these CEOs are doing is setting the scene for failure. Instead, there needs to be a cultural change across the organisation, because everyone's responsible for managing information – from emails to time sheets and everything in between.

A CEO, CIO or CDO (whatever their title) needs delegated authority for all employees, a range of tools at their disposal, accountability and a workable framework in which they can manage their data. These are basic necessities. For a CEO to succeed, this needs to be done before any more money is wasted on "silver bullets" like automation, analytics and cloud computing.

Vendors are keen to sell new technologies, though the data (the driver of technology) needs to be focused on first; otherwise, CEOs will soon find their magical silver bullets are void of any gunpowder.

To tidy up your organisation's data, our free white paper below is here to assist. We'll help you understand how and why information can be the difference between success and failure.

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