Key issues being discussed around the globe in the boardroom and C-suite

Massive disruptions in the global supply chain. Challenges in attracting and retaining talent to address needs all across the enterprise. The Delta and Omicron variants. Cyber attacks and ransomware. Geopolitical tensions in specific regions and shifts on issues related to climate change. Long-overdue shifts in expectations related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation and other rapidly developing digital technologies. More permanent shifts to hybrid and remote work environments. Shifting customer preferences and demographics. Big data analytics.

The global marketplace is dramatically impacted by these and a host of other notable risk drivers triggering significant levels of uncertainties that make it extremely difficult for an organisation’s leaders to anticipate what risks may lie just over the horizon. Unanticipated events are unfolding at record pace, leading to massive challenges to identify the best next steps for organisations of all types and sizes, regardless of where they reside in the world. As no one is immune to uncertainty, C-suites and boards need to be vigilant in scanning the horizon for emerging issues. Because it is impossible to anticipate everything of significance that lies in the future, organisations must focus on building trust-based, resilient cultures that can pivot at the speed of change.

One of the first questions an organisation seeks to answer in risk management is, “What are our most critical risks?” The organisation’s answer to this question lays the foundation for management to respond with appropriate capabilities for managing these risks. Protiviti and NC State University’s ERM Initiative are pleased to provide this report focusing on the top risks for the short term — 2022 — and the long term — 2031 — from 1,453 respondents in C-suite and board positions in organisations around the globe.

Resources and Download Materials

Last year, we referred to the future of work as one of the defining business challenges of the disruptive 2020s. This year, we’re doubling down on that prediction. Not only is this risk the top issue for the next decade for the second straight year, but the increasing cost of labor and acute talent shortages are making the business case for automating manual-intensive activities more compelling.
Kim Bozzella
In reviewing year-over-year risk levels in all six industry groups we examined looking out 12 months and over the next decade, our respondents are apparently more comfortable with the risk landscape near term as the pandemic transitions to an endemic state. But they are casting a wary eye toward the prospect of increasingly complex and competitive markets as the disruptive 2020s unfold.
An interesting aspect of our annual study is the differing points of view among the participating executives and directors regarding the magnitude and severity of risks the disparity noted in our results suggests the need for dialogue at the highest levels of an organisation to ensure that everyone is one the same page about the most important risks that should command the organisation’s focus and resources.
Bruce Branson