Tag: financial times

Businesses focus on security and digitisation

Hacker typing on a laptop

Hacker typing on a laptop

A new report claims that business priorities are changing and will see a  greater emphasis on cybersecurity and digitalisation of processes over the next three years.

The report with the catchy title “Corporate Learning Pulse” comes from the Financial Times and the IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance. It is developed from a leadership study conducted among C-Suite executives, HR and Learning & Development professionals working across multiple business sectors in China, Denmark, France, GCC, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and UK.

While the top three business priorities for 2017 were growth, strategy and financial management, the war on cyber-attacks, and the accelerating impact of digital disruption will bring these issues higher in the list of concerns for senior executives in 2018-20.

Top six business priorities for 2017 were Market growth, strategy development and execution, Financial management, Cybersecurity, Digital adoption and leadership development.

While market growth and strategy development and execution arestill the top priority, the next three years will see companies focused on cybersecurity and digital adoption before leadership development and financial management.

The main fear is cybersecurity and the potential threat from hackers and facing up to the effects of digital disruption.

The report said that the top issues are the cloud and the growing impact of technology.

Executives in China and the Middle East are twice as likely to put digital adoption among the top three problems they expect to tackle over the next three years, compared to their European and Japanese counterparts.

The study also focused on attitudes to leadership development and what executive education can bring to business strategy. The need to improve management abilities, and address staff retention and development, are the highest priorities for corporate learning over the next three years. When asked which elements of digital strategy are most important, an understanding of data and analysis of trends ranked highest among the survey’s respondents.

The report said that there is a clear role here for executive education. While traditionally it is seen as a route to leadership development, corporate learning can place a stronger focus on real-world business challenges. From the findings of this leadership study, a better understanding of the impact of digital adoption will be higher on the agenda for senior executives over the next three years.


FT names Apple boss “Man of the Year”

Apple's Tim CookThe Financial Times has named the spiritual and temporal leader of the fruity cargo cult Apple as its man of the year.

Tim Cook, the FT claimed, was doing wonders for Apple and making it a less heartless company. Jobs’ Mob is actually starting to do all the things that people said it did.

During a recent shareholders meeting when one audience member tried to push Apple’s chief executive on the profitability of Apple’s various environmental initiatives, such as its solar-powered datacentre, Cook growled.

“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Cook said. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you… then you should get out of the stock.”

Fortunately, for Cook it has not backfired. The share price has increased by around 50 percent since that shareholder meeting, at one point taking its market capitalisation above $700 billion.

Financial success and dazzling new technology alone might have been enough to earn Apple’s steely chief executive the FT’s vote as the 2014 Person of the Year, enthused the FT, but Cook’s “brave exposition of his values” also sets him apart.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” he wrote in Businessweek in October.

In fact, the only criticism that people seem to have of Cook is that he is not Steve Jobs and lacks any sense of showmanship. He is not as closely involved in new product development as his predecessor, which is probably why the new iPhone bends rather easily.