Monday, December 3, 2018

Top CTO Challenges for 2019

Southern California Tech Central Best ArticleThe LA CTO Forum recently conducted a survey to find out what our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) members saw as their biggest challenges heading into 2019.
We received over 250 responses that provides a pretty good insight into the top CTO challenges.

The rating scale was 1-5 with:
  1. Not a challenge
  2. A small challenge
  3. Somewhat a challenge
  4. Definitely a challenge
  5. Keeps me up at night

We provide both an Average and a Scaled Rating that gives much higher weight to 4s and 5s and discounts 1s and 2s.

Here are the Top CTO Challenges for 2019 sorted based on scaled rating - biggest challenges first.

Recruiting, Hiring, Sourcing and Onboarding3.530.48
Appropriate Security for my Organization3.490.47
As a tech leader, where do I spend my time3.450.46
Personal Career Planning3.150.40
Business Metrics for CTOs / engineering3.200.39
Motivation of engineering team3.210.39
Tech Vision and Tech Roadmaps3.190.38
Talent Management, Career Development of team3.240.38
Organization and Structure of engineering team3.150.37
Managing Technical Debt3.180.36
Executive Presence3.060.36
Architecture Decision Making / Reviews when you are not the architect3.110.35
How to find, explore and choose new technologies 3.030.34
Capacity Planning and Resource Forecasting3.060.34
Testing / Test Automation3.050.33
Technical Metrics3.040.33
Relationship with CEO2.880.33
Relationship with CxO Peers (Marketing, Sales, Service, Operations)2.880.31
Management of DevOps, Site Reliability Engineering2.950.31
Collaborative Decision Making2.950.31
Integrating Offshore, Remote and In-House Engineering2.810.30
Effective Agile Management, e.g., Flow Efficiency, Sprint Boundaries2.900.30
Working with Product Management2.850.30
Delegation & Prioritization2.870.29
Sourcing and Managing Remote engineers2.770.29
Engineering Management Team (Direct Reports)2.820.28
Sourcing and Managing Offshore engineering2.620.26
Complex Technology Partnerships & Vendor Negotiation2.680.25
CapEx/OpEx optimization2.650.25

It's not surprising that Recruiting and Security are at the top.  I was a little more surprised by topics such as "Where do I spend my time" and Personal Career Planning near the top.

Similarly, I was surprised that "Working with Product Management" and "Effective Agile Management" were not bigger challenges for most members.  These have perennially been a much bigger challenge.  Maybe we CTOs are improving.  

We are looking forward to interesting sessions in 2019 on this topic.  I would expect that we'll see some of these discussed on CTO Universe as well.

Anything surprise you?  Or something that we missed?