Leeds 25th Anniversary Digital Leadership Report 2024

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Posting date: 04 July 2024

What topics are currently at the forefront of the minds of digital leaders? Nash Squared Technology Evangelist, David Savage breaks down the key discussions from the evening. 

Last week we brought together digital leaders from across Leeds to join us for our annual Digital Leadership Report (DLR) event. Throughout the evening, several key topics were pulled out of the data and expanded by the leadership community. 

I think it would be a shock to you if AI hadn’t dominated conversations. Since we released the initial DLR we’ve also conducted a pulse survey. It goes into even greater detail about Generative AI and the challenges faced by technology and digital leaders. 

Now, full disclosure. Making notes whilst presenting can be hard. But I did note down the key topics and some commentary from the room. Those notes are as exhaustive as ‘tech debt v business debt, yes’. Highly insightful. 

So, I had some fun. I fleshed out my notes as much as possible. I then prompted Copilot to reference it against the DLR and pulse survey, and finally to rewrite it in my own style. The results are below! 

At once this highlights how great these tools are for productivity. But it’s not me, and when I read the text, it doesn’t sound like me. The point is these tools are great but the data we have internally to query isn’t always the best. My writing style in emails is not how I’d approach an article. 

We have a long way to go until AI takes our place, a point raised in our research. Just 1% of roles are currently being replaced. It’s how we adopt AI, not the fact that we can adapt it. The honeymoon is over and that’s a good thing.  

So here they are, the key points from our digital leaders within Leeds, written by Copilot with a little steer from me: 

Projects That Pay Off vs. Cost-Cutting: What’s the Smart Move?  

Let’s face it, we’re all looking for the next big thing that’ll make the cash registers sing. Right now, it’s all about those projects that bring in the dough. But hey, don’t forget, the big bosses are breathing down our necks for more than just revenue – they want us to be ninjas at cutting costs too. It’s a tightrope walk, but who said being a digital leader was easy? 

GenAI: Friend or Foe to Developers?  

Here’s the million-dollar question – is Generative AI the trusty sidekick for our software developers, or is it the villain in disguise? It’s a hot debate, and I’m all ears for your thoughts. Are we looking at a game-changer or just another tech headache? 

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Transforming Business: Can We Make Magic Without Top-Notch Data?  

Alright, let’s talk turkey. Can we really shake up the business world if our data’s not up to snuff? It’s like trying to paint a masterpiece with a blunt pencil. Sure, we might make some headway, but without that golden data, we’re almost flying blind. 

Net Zero and GenAI: A Match Made in Tech Heaven or a Carbon Footprint Nightmare?

Net zero – it’s the goal we’re all chasing, but as we dive headfirst into the world of GenAI tools, are we helping or hindering the cause? The jury’s out, and the clock’s ticking. We’ve got tech giants like Google waving red flags about missing the 2030 targets, so it’s time to get real about where GenAI fits into our green dreams. 

Technical Debt vs. Business Debt: Two Sides of the Same Coin?  

Technical debts like that drawer we all have – full of stuff we’ll ‘sort out later.’ But let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not just a tech problem. It’s a business problem too. Ignore it, and you’ll see the financial side start to wobble. The trick? Keep it all in check, balance the books, and never let that debt drawer overflow. 

The Rise of the Chief AI Officer: Are We Ready to Roll Out the Red Carpet?  

The tech world’s buzzing with talk of a new VIP – the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. It’s a role that’s picking up steam, with companies getting wise to the need for some AI smarts at the top table. Will it stick around, or is it just a passing trend? Time will tell, but for now, the CAIO is the talk of the town. 

And finally…  

Thank you to everyone who attended our event, and all the digital leaders who took part in our research. We appreciate your time, and hope you get value out of our insights and the connections you make.  

We also hope it encourages you to find out more about what we do, so – and here is the marketing bit – if you would like to find out more about our Harvey Nash tech recruitment services, or how NashTech can help you build your software development capability, Natalie or Steve would love to hear from you:  

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