47. What are the Priorities for COOs in 2024? Part 2

In this episode we discuss: The Future COO in Tech Companies. We are joined by Tony Olvet and Andrea Siviero from IDC. You can find part 1 in the series in ep 39 - our discussion with Cameron Herold.

6/14/20244 min read

We chat about the following:

  • How do COOs navigate the evolving landscape of digital transformation while ensuring organisational stability?

  • What are the key priorities for COOs in 2024, and how do they drive strategic thinking beyond technology?

  • What role do COOs play as the connective tissue of organisations, orchestrating digital initiatives and driving innovation?

  • How can COOs transition from being protectors of the organisation to digital disruptors, driving new revenue models and ESG initiatives?

  • What skills are essential for CEOs and COOs to thrive in today's digital age, and how do they communicate the future state of the organisation effectively?



Tony Olvet, Group Vice President at IDC, leads global research on the intersection of business transformation and digital investments. With extensive experience advising organizations worldwide, Tony provides fact-based insights to inform technology strategy and digital business decisions. A sought-after speaker, he delivers keynote presentations at conferences and virtual events. Based in Toronto, Canada, Tony holds degrees from the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto.

Andrea Siviero leads IDC's European Digital Business and Future of Work Research group, providing insights to drive purposeful technology adoption. He also co-leads IDC's Worldwide MacroTech Research program, analyzing the impact of key macroeconomic factors on the digital landscape. With extensive experience in strategy and go-to-market projects, Andrea advises IT players on building forward-looking digital strategies. He holds a joint PhD in mathematics and is fluent in English, French, and Italian.

To learn more about Beth and Brandon or to find out about sponsorship opportunities click here.


  • Cricket and personal life, including death and ex-fiance. 0:00

    • Bethany shares her struggles with grief after an unexpected death of a teenager, while Brandon listens and offers support.

    • Bethany and Brandon discuss their past relationship and reasons for reconnecting.

  • Career changes, life lessons, and tech CEO priorities. 3:08

    • Bethany and Brandon M discuss their experiences working with Tony Elvet at IDC.

    • Brandon M reflects on his decision to leave London and return to Toronto, and how it impacted his career.

    • Brandon M shared his experiences as a tech CEO with a research report, discussing new priorities and future orientation.

    • Bethany asked Brandon about his insights on CEO priorities, which were included in the report, with little fundamental change observed.

  • CEO role, digital transformation, and AI adoption in businesses. 7:13

    • Brandon M: CEO role in 2024: partnering with finance leaders, making investment bets.

    • Bethany: High performance culture: how to make it happen, translate into business.

    • Brandon M: Digital transformation is not always transformative, but AI is a real transformation for all companies.

    • Bethany: AI is the top priority for businesses in the next 5 years, but digital transformation has been on agendas for years without being transformative.

  • CEO qualities and skills, with a focus on storytelling and operational abilities. 12:25

    • Bethany shares her thoughts on the qualities of a successful CEO, mentioning the importance of both vision and execution.

    • Bethany and Brandon discuss the contrasting views on the path to becoming a CEO, with some arguing that it's more common for CEOs to come from within the company.

    • Bethany and Brandon discuss the importance of storytelling in business, with Brandon highlighting the founder's ability to communicate the company's vision and mission in a compelling way.

    • Brandon recognizes his own limitations in storytelling and acknowledges that there's a time and place for different types of leaders, including those with strong communication skills.

  • Storytelling, leadership, and CEO responsibilities in 2024. 17:01

    • Bethany shares her insights on storytelling for senior leaders and execs, emphasizing authenticity and bravery in communication.

    • Bethany reflects on her own storytelling capacity, recognizing the importance of being true to oneself and sharing uncomfortable thoughts with others.

    • Bethany: Became braver over time, prioritizing connection over fear of consequences (0:19:19)

    • Brandon M: Unlocking skills in CEOs is fundamental, but role of COO unclear (0:20:33)

  • COO roles, priorities, and partnerships in digital transformation. 21:30

    • Brandon M: SaaS software for career progression frameworks is emerging, addressing the need for simplified and clear frameworks.

    • Bethany: CEOs should be aware of the tendency to over engineer, especially in scaled companies, and take a step back to assess if too much is being expected.

    • Bethany and Speaker 4 discuss the importance of partnership between CEO and CLO in digital transformation.

    • Speaker 4 highlights the difference in priorities and impact between scale-up companies and larger corporations.

    • The COO is the right-hand person to the CEO, providing capable partnership and support.

    • COOs partner with various C-suite executives, including CIOs, to drive growth and innovation.

  • CEO roles, responsibilities, and evolution in 2024. 28:29

    • CIOs are increasingly seen as essential for organizational success, with 85% of CEOs having risen through the ranks to their position.

    • Andrea highlights the evolution of the CEO role, from protector to enabler and digital disruptor.

    • Brandon M. asks about the hottest new function for CEOs in 2024, with a focus on ESG and customer success.

  • Roles and responsibilities for AI adoption in enterprises. 32:31

    • CEOs prioritize responsible AI leadership, COO involvement in decision-making.

    • COO will play a crucial role in buying committee for operational technology in manufacturing.

  • CEO role in driving sustainability and social impact initiatives. 36:33

    • CEO and COO prioritize sustainability and ESG initiatives.

    • Bethany asks about tools for measuring social impact, and Speaker 4 explains the complexity of defining and measuring social impact.

    • Brandon M discusses the evolving skills of CEOs, including their role in driving transformation and partnering with other senior executives.

  • Leadership skills for tech industry CEOs, focusing on communication and adaptability. 41:14

    • Communication skills crucial for motivating through change.

    • Tony and Andrea discussed the importance of communicating the future state of an organization and being able to adjust to unexpected events.

    • They emphasized the need for CEOs to dedicate 70% of their time to traditional tasks and 30% to unexpected events.

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