Major themes for 2023 and 2032

The results of this year’s survey reveal that the scope of global risks has become more expansive, and the number of different risks rated as top risk concerns is only growing in nature and type. The level of uncertainty in today’s marketplace is rapidly evolving and presenting new risks that many previously thought were unimaginable.

  • Uncertainty abounds, triggering heightened risk concerns for executives and boards. Survey respondents rate the overall severity and magnitude of risks at the highest level in the 11 years this study has been conducted.
  • The risk landscape is changing but resistance to change persists. Leaders cannot afford to ignore the changing risk landscape, given new risks can emerge rapidly. The culture of their organizations should be prepared to adapt to disruptive change and facilitate escalation of market opportunities and risks to decision makers.
  • The economy is top of mind. There are significant concerns globally about the potential for persistent challenges related to inflation and growth.
  • Talent and technology concerns dominate the composition of top risks. The 10-year outlook reflects a mix of opportunities and risks relating to disruptive innovation, advancing technologies and human capital challenges. Executives and boards recognize the need to find the talent to realize fully the value proposition associated with new technologies and digital innovations and are prioritizing strategies around reskilling and upskilling existing employees to get it. They also are concerned about increases in labor costs impacting achievement of profitability goals, as well as evolving approaches to managing hybrid and remote work environments and continued shifts in the nature of work.
  • There are diverse risk perspectives across the C-suite and boardroom. There is noticeable variation among different leaders about what risks are most critical, highlighting the importance of engaging in conversations about the most significant risks for their organizations.
  • A long-term view of risks is vital in navigating the near term. As organizations manage the challenges 2023 brings, they should also prepare for the long term by addressing issues noted in this survey, including effectively transforming legacy IT infrastructures, emphasizing the customer experience, investing in future growth opportunities, ensuring privacy and security, and advancing capabilities to deploy advanced data analytics. A long-term outlook helps companies focus on where to invest to be more resilient for the unexpected and better prepared for the next phase of growth.

The results show that risk management, as a discipline, is becoming more critical for success, with board members and executives expressing an overall higher likelihood to invest in strengthening risk management in 2023

The threats of business disruption due to increased geopolitical events and the impact of national elections weigh heavily on the 2023 risk outlook. Understanding and addressing these threats proactively are keys to aligning a company’s strategy with existing business realities.
Carol Beaumier
Top Risks for 2023 and 2032


December 8, 2022

Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2023 and 2032

The level of uncertainty in today’s global marketplace and the velocity of change continue to produce a multitude of potential risks that can disrupt an organization’s business model and strategy on very short notice.