Thank you, Kevin, and like Mark said, we’re very excited at Protiviti with this latest survey, our ninth, with North Carolina State University’s Enterprise Risk Management Initiative and we’re excited about sharing these results with the marketplace. When COVID-19 hit, many digital leaders did not need to do a whole lot to pivot, as they were already future-ready and able to operate in a manner to survive and thrive in the pandemic’s new normal. So, this theme around embracing the megatrends and preparing for the future was illustrated by the ability of digital leaders to respond virtually overnight – making some adjustments of course, everybody had to do that – but they had all the tools, the technology, the people – they were ready to do it.
We hear a lot of talk about disruption being unpredictable, but there is nothing about 2020 that was not predictable. The market had been anticipating an airborne pandemic for many years. It may not have been on the radar of a lot of companies but it’s been there. I mean, think about it. With many risk management activities, companies talk about the risk, but unfortunately, the risk has to materialise before they really act and do something. So, in the case of COVID-19, the market has recognised it’s like a gray rhino charging on the horizon. The pandemic was inevitable. Think about it. We had SARS and Ebola, to name but a few. They weren’t airborne, but they’re not that far distant in the rearview mirror. And given the number of infectious viruses on the planet, overpopulation, large and dense cities, global travel … considering these and other factors, a pandemic is almost inevitable. And think about this: Dr. Fauci, who we all know here in the States, has advised six presidents and now has a seventh one he’s advising. He always told them that the one that keeps him up at night was an airborne pandemic, so this has been in the medical field for a long time. So the message is that companies cannot hold back the tide and prevent the future. They need to plan for it, and all businesses need to recognise the megatrends and where those trends will take the market in the future. The only uncertainty is how quickly these trends will materialise. So depending on the industry and the implications of these megatrends, you may be talking about transportation type issues, electrification, self-driving vehicles, drones, automation of all kinds, the expectations of consumers, employees, and investors that companies embrace net-zero carbon footprint targets, and flexibility and mobility for both employees and consumers, aging population, shrinking talent pools – it’s all there and much, much more. So, I could go on but the point I think, Mark, is that if a company’s future-ready, it will prosper. If its focus is only on the present, then the pace of change and the inevitable disruption as the megatrends play out could create potentially existential threats that can lead companies to ultimately lose in the market. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and the challenge is that getting future-ready may require some impact on the bottom line in the short-term.