December 14, 2017

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Speed of Technology Advancements, Resistance to Change Seen as Top Risks for Businesses Worldwide, Protiviti-NC State University Survey Finds

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MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The rapid pace of technological developments and disruptive innovations, along with organizational resistance to change, are the top concerns for boards of directors and business leaders around the world heading into 2018, according to the results of the sixth annual Executive Perspectives on Top Risks Survey conducted by global consulting firm Protiviti and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative in the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management.

Released today, the survey report, “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2018,” assesses the concerns of 728 board members and executives globally. The results indicate that growing concerns around disruptive innovation significantly outpace fears of economic uncertainty and regulatory scrutiny, which have consistently been the top risk issues of board members and executives over the past several years. Threats related to cybersecurity are a top risk area for business leaders as well, particularly in light of recent cyberattacks such as WannaCry, along with those affecting major organizations like Equifax. Of particular note, board members across all industries perceive a much riskier environment in 2018 relative to 2017.

“Disruption and digital transformation are taking place across all industries and threatening core business models,” said Pat Scott, an executive vice president with Protiviti. “It’s clear from our latest survey that there has been a major shift in the top concerns for organizations. Digitalization-related risks have supplanted overall economic conditions and regulatory scrutiny atop the list of risk issues for board members and executives who are worried that new technologies and their impact on established business models could outpace their organizations’ ability to keep up and remain competitive.”

“It’s no longer a question of if digital will upend your business, but when,” said Jim DeLoach, a Protiviti managing director. “While a number of organizations already have digital strategies in place, digital transformation needs to become entrenched as a core part of the organization to ensure that companies are able to embrace disruptive change in the current business environment. This risk plus heightened concerns regarding resistance to change create a formidable challenge to executives and directors. Leaders know that failure to keep up with the rapid pace of change can place an organization in the position of becoming captive to events rather than charting its own course.”  

The Top 10 Risks for 2018 
Following are the top 10 risks identified in

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