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Digital Readiness Dominates Top Risk Concerns for Business in 2019: Survey

Protiviti a global consulting firm, in collaboration with North Carolina State University has recently conducted a survey where in boards and C-suite leaders globally are mostly concerned about their company’s ability to transform its operations and infrastructure to successfully compete with organizations that are inherently digital .

The survey titled “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks” assesses the concerns of 825 board members and executives globally across a variety of industries. This year’s results show a significant increase in digital readiness wherein from number 10 position in 2018 it rose to number one in 2019.

Traditional companies are struggling to compete with newer digital players that can operate more efficiently, are innovative at their core, digitize and deliver new products and services, enhance the customer experience and operate with agile business models.

Regulatory changes and heightened scrutiny continue to represent a major source of uncertainty, while concerns about economic conditions fell out of the top 10 list of risks for the first time in the seven years during which the research has been conducted.

“Looking forward, digital disruption is a main driver of risk impacting uncertainty over business model viability, customer preferences, the competitive landscape, workplace dynamics, the war for talent and even regulatory demands,” said Patrick Scott, an executive vice president with Protiviti. “Clearly, organizations must align their culture, people, processes and intelligence gathering to embrace this rapidly changing business environment.”

“Whether covert or overt, resistance to necessary change – spawned by disruptive innovations that alter business fundamentals – can be lethal,” said Jim DeLoach, a Protiviti managing director and member of the research team. “Organizations must be willing and able to quickly make necessary adjustments to their business models and core operations. Strategic error in the digital economy can result in the ultimate price, if a company continues to play a losing hand in the marketplace.”

 Following are the top 10 risks identified in the “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2019” report:

  1. Existing operations meeting performance expectations, competing against “born digital” firms
  2. Succession challenges and ability to attract and retain top talent
  3. Regulatory changes and regulatory scrutiny
  4. Cyber threats
  5. Resistance to change operations
  6. Rapid speed of disruptive innovations and new technologies
  7. Privacy/identity management and information security
  8. Inability to utilise analytics and big data
  9. Organisation’s culture may not sufficiently encourage timely identification and escalation of risk issues
  10. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention

The 2019 Executive Perspectives on Top Risks survey was conducted in the fall of 2018, and respondents represent organisations across the globe in the public and private sectors. 60% of respondents’ companies have annual revenues of $1 billion or more. The survey report provides detailed insights broken out by size and type of company, respondent role, industry and geographical region.

(Image Courtesy: www.cpacanada.ca)

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