CEOs’ biggest worries: Security, skills, technological change

Thirty eight percent of CEOs surveyed said they believed technology would completely reshape their industry in five years

PwC has released the results of its 20th annual NZ CEO survey saying it shows cyber threats, skills shortages and the speed of technological change as CEOs main worries. Ninety one percent were worried about cyber security, 84 percent about the availability of key skills and 84 percent about the speed of technological change.

Thirty eight percent said they believed technology would completely reshape their industry in five years. The figure from PwC’s global survey was 23 percent.

On a more positive note, 97 percent said they were confident about their revenue growth prospects for the next three years and 91 percent expected to hit their growth targets for the next 12 months.

PwC CEO and Senior Partner, Mark Averill, said: “Technology has had a massive impact on the speed at which we operate, especially when it comes to the global market. From our perspective at PwC, our clients expect us to always be available and to have the ability to access both people and information globally. It is transforming the way we work.”

According to PwC, the survey also paints a clear picture of where CEOs see growth coming from within their organisations: People, Technology and Businesses working together.

Averill said a standout from this year’s findings was where New Zealand CEOs saw growth coming from. “Almost three-quarters said they saw new opportunities in partnering with other organisations, a point where local CEOs are well ahead of their overseas counterparts. It’s a hugely positive sign for the country that our business leaders are thinking collaboratively about growth.”

Seventy two percent saw growth coming from joint ventures or a strategic alliance compared to 48 percent globally.

Averill said concerns about cyber security had grown rapidly, from 66 percent in 2015 to 77 percent in 2016. He said organisations were responding to t threats by investing more in risk management tools.”

The New Zealand survey was part of a global survey of almost 1400 CEOs, released at the World Economic Forum on 16 January. Thirty-two New Zealand CEOs contributed to this year’s quantitative finding by completing an online survey between September and December 2016. A further eight CEOs participated through in-depth interviews.

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