Talent, culture, cybersecurity and data privacy represent top risk issues for public sector organizations
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. Unfolding events in Eastern Europe, changes in government leadership in several countries around the globe, escalating inflation, rising interest rates, ever-present cyber threats, competition for talent and specialized skill sets, continued disruptions in global supply chains, rapidly developing technologies … these represent just a sampling of the complex web of drivers of risks that may threaten an organization’s achievement of its objectives. Uncertainty and risk are here to stay. Keeping abreast of emerging risk issues and market opportunities is critical to improving organizational resilience.
The need for robust, strategic approaches to anticipating and managing risks cannot be overemphasized. Boards of directors and executive management teams who choose to manage risks on a reactive basis are likely to be left behind those who embrace the reality that risk and return are interconnected and recognize the benefits of proactively managing risks through a strategic lens. Those leaders who understand how insights about emerging risks can be used to navigate the world of uncertainty nimbly increase their organization’s ability to pivot when the unexpected occurs. That can translate into sustainable competitive advantage.
In this 11th annual survey, Protiviti and NC State University’s ERM Initiative report on the top risks on the minds of global boards of directors and executives in 2023 and over the next 10 years, into 2032. Our respondent group, which includes 1,304 board members and C-suite executives from around the world, provided their perspectives about the potential impact over the next 12 months and next decade of 38 risk issues across these three dimensions:
- Macroeconomic risks likely to affect their organization’s growth opportunities
- Strategic risks the organization faces that may affect the validity of its strategy for pursuing growth opportunities
- Operational risks that might affect key operations of the organization in executing its strategy
Prevalent themes in the top risks for public sector organizations in the coming year as well as the next decade include cybersecurity, privacy and third-party risk.
Advances in technology have made it easy to collect information about individuals and ubiquitous internet connectivity has facilitated sophisticated tracking of individuals and their activities. The vast number of individuals affected by various data breaches has underscored concerns that personally identifiable information is not being protected adequately.