Digital transformation efforts, cybersecurity worries and IT staffing issues are among the top concerns for executives, who are looking to focus on growth strategies amid economic headwinds.
Those are the findings of a PwC survey of 722 US-based executives, 40% of whom ranked cybersecurity as the top risk facing their businesses, and 38% rating it as moderate risk.
Meanwhile, 58% of business leaders said they would benefit the most from improved reporting on cybersecurity and technology, and nearly half of survey respondents plan to increase their investments in IT security. and confidentiality.
“As the risk and compliance landscape is ever-changing, so are the tools organizations need to mitigate vulnerability,” said Joe Atkinson, chief product and technology officer at PwC. “We see our customers increasingly looking for always-on tools that can not only assess current risks, but also provide them with information at their fingertips to anticipate future threats.”
Chief risk officers (CROs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) typically lead efforts to implement risk assessment tools, but they also need to be supported by their entire C- suite and boards to focus on smooth implementation of assessment tools and ensure growth. is not suffocated by a risk that could have been foreseen, Atkinson said.
“Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and will require the full force of the C suite to implement policies and tools that successfully protect the business,” he added.
The challenge of finding the right talent
The survey also indicated that finding the right talent continues to be a challenge for business leaders, with talent acquisition ranking second in risk behind cyber, with 38% of respondents citing it as a risk. serious.
To retain and attract talent, organizations are exploring new flexible working arrangements, including expanding remote working options for certain roles – seven in 10 respondents said they had remote working options in place or had plans in place.
Just under 30% of respondents also listed finding the right balance between in-office, remote and hybrid work as one of the top three risks for the next year.
In a highly competitive job market, companies need to be very strategic and intentional when it comes to developing their people, including upskilling opportunities, Atkinson said.
“In fact, we’re seeing skills development becoming a company staple, similar to a 401(k) or any other essential employee benefit,” he said. “Employees rely on their employers to provide them with the skills and tools to prepare them for the jobs of the future. Along the same lines, businesses need their employees to have the skills to take their business where it needs to go.
From Atkinson’s perspective, fostering a culture of development can be used as an important tool in building a stronger business and strengthening relationships with high-value employees.
“We expect to see more and more companies launching or expanding their development programs to stay competitive in this tough talent market,” he said.
Why digital transformation programs are worth the challenge
“Digital transformation doesn’t get any easier, nor does the role of the CTO,” Atkinson added. “CTOs are often tasked with not only implementing the technologies and tools that support a transformation, but also connecting the dots within their organization and bringing an integrated vision to life for their organization.”
He highlighted that digital transformation programs have the potential to unlock connectivity and collaboration between businesses, creating unique opportunities for executives who have the determination to execute the vision through technology and talent.
“As a result, the CTO role will continue to evolve from a technology integration leader to a champion of business model growth and innovation,” Atkinson said.