Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2024 and 2034 2024 Top Risks in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Download Cyber threats, talent and tech skills lead risk concerns for TMT industry leadersTMT executives were asked to identify the biggest threats they anticipate over the next 12 months and a decade ahead. Many of the risks cited correlate in many ways and can be categorized under two broad themes: foundational risks, which are essentially challenges that leaders must address to keep their business thriving, and risks that are essential for continued growth and expansion.Cyber threats have reemerged as the top risk concern for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry group, escalated by the continued expansion of attack vectors and geopolitical tensions. Labor constraints and economic conditions, including inflationary pressures, follow closely at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, according to Protiviti’s 2024 Top Risks Survey.What's next: TMT companies should focus on strengthening leadership succession and development, training the next generation of cyber defenders, and leveraging data and technology tools to fight inflation. To address the labor issues, companies should have documented succession plans and communicate advancement pathways and development opportunities to valuable team members. Regarding cyber threats, it is important for companies to develop robust cybersecurity and insider threat protection and rapid response programs, which will go a long way to allow for future growth. Download Topics Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance Industries Technology, Media & Telecommunications Cyber threatsCyber threats have consistently ranked among the biggest risks confronting TMT executives. However, this year, global geopolitical tensions, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, have exacerbated the risk.Insider threats are a significant concern, especially as companies navigate hybrid work models, putting more security responsibility on employees. The proliferation of artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, which have significantly expanded the attack vectors, are also major factors.Organizations must develop robust cybersecurity and insider threat protection and rapid response programs to protect their operations, which will allow for future growth.Tackling the talent crisisTMT organizations are also increasingly worried about their ability to attract, develop and retain top talent, manage shifts in labor expectations, and address succession challenges.Since the pandemic, many companies have experienced unusually high attrition rates, although large multilocational organizations that have been able to accommodate employees seeking to relocate or transfer to different roles have been less impacted. High-level departures have also had devastating impacts on organizations. Replacing a C-suite executive or senior employee can be costly, although companies with deeper pockets, compared to startups and fledgling organizations, are able to absorb the impact better.Overall, TMT companies, small and large, are struggling with succession planning. Many companies do not have documented succession plans and frequently fail to adequately communicate advancement pathways and development opportunities to valuable team members.The talent gap extends also to the cyber workforce, where companies are desperate to train the next generation of cyber defenders. The weakening front line against cyberattacks may also explain why TMT executives are growing more nervous about cyber threats.Inflationary pressuresLike the talent issue, pressure from inflation is hitting TMT companies in several different ways, depending on market share, pricing power and line of business, among other factors. Larger tech companies have been renegotiating favorable prices with their suppliers and many have been able to raise hardware prices and pass the higher costs to consumers. Those that do not have the same level of pricing power are contending with margin compression and aggressive cost cutting. There are some signs that inflation may be cooling, but it remains at a level that has many executives up at night. TMT organizations, led by their CFOs, should lean on their data, predictive analytics and advanced technology tools to help them make better strategic decisions on ways to fight inflation. Image Many companies do not have documented succession plans and frequently fail to adequately communicate advancement pathways and development opportunities to valuable team members. Disruptive technologiesThe impact of disruptive innovations and the ability to leverage new and emerging technologies to achieve growth is ranked fourth for 2024 by the TMT respondents. Closely related is a concern over the adoption of digital technologies requiring new skills in short supply, which is ranked the No. 6 top risk for 2024.From artificial intelligence to wearable technology to nanotechnology to 5G, TMT companies have been the catalyst for many disruptive technologies, but they also have not been spared by disruptions associated with being on the cutting edge of technology.In the telecommunications industry, for example, wireless carriers are competing not only with each other to advance 5G coverage and features but also with cable providers, who are looking to strengthen their position within the broadband market.Generative AI is another new technology that is upending the TMT industry. TMT finance leaders are already using generative AI for critical functions such as compliance and regulatory reporting. The technology is also fueling fierce competition among companies whose chips enable ChatGPT. Clearly, the implications of adopting AI capabilities throughout the TMT industry and across society at large will continue to be a top risk for years to come.Other top 10 risks — and looking a decade aheadConcern over third-party risks, ensuring privacy and compliance with growing identity protection expectations, and sustaining customer loyalty and retention are other 2024 top ten risk issues identified by TMT leaders.Asked to project a decade ahead, TMT respondents cited cyber threats, adoption of digital technologies requiring new skills, and disruptive innovations as their top three risk issues. Image About the Executive Perspectives on Top Risks SurveyWe surveyed 1,143 board members and executives across a number of industries and from around the globe, asking them to assess the impact of 36 unique risks on their organization over the next 12 months and over the next decade. Our survey was conducted in September and October 2023. Respondents rated the impact of each risk on their organization using a 10-point scale, where 1 reflects “No Impact at All” and 10 reflects “Extensive Impact.” For each of the 36 risks, we computed the average score reported by all respondents and rank-ordered the risks from highest to lowest impact.Read our Executive Perspectives on Top Risks Survey executive summary and full report below. TMT finance leaders are already using generative AI for critical functions such as compliance and regulatory reporting. The technology is also fueling fierce competition among companies whose chips enable ChatGPT. Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2024 and 2034 The 12th annual Top Risks Survey report highlights top-of-mind issues for directors and executives around the globe over the next year - 2024 - and a decade later – 2034. Learn More Webinar | Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry: Top Risks for 2024 Explore the 2024 Top Risks facing the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) industry with our panel of industry experts. Watch On Demand Infographic | 2024 Top Risks in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Explore 2024's top risks in Technology, Media and Telecommunications. Cyber threats, talent shortage, inflation—key concerns for TMT leaders. View Infographic Leadership Scot Glover Scot is a Global Leader for Technology, Media & Telecommunications in our San Francisco office and focuses on helping companies assess, understand and mitigate their most important risks to drive key business improvements. He is a member of our Internal Audit and ... Learn More Relevant Top Risks Solutions Pro Document Prossonal Cybersecurity From the speed of innovation, digital transformation, and economic expectations to evolving cyber threats, the talent gap, and a dynamic regulatory landscape, technology leaders are expected to effectively respond to and manage these competing priorities. Pro Screen System Integration Culture and Organizational Transformation Employees are looking for work with purpose and want to feel invested in their organizations. We help organizations to assess, cultivate and transform their current culture to meet their business objectives. Pro Legal Briefcase Finance Technology & Data Align strategic finance initiatives and technology with business priorities and growth plans to help finance leaders realize efficiency, grow securely, and mine better data. graph Data Privacy Organizations are experiencing unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. Changing state, federal, and global regulations are forcing constant business, technical, and legal operational changes. Pro Document Consent Emerging Technologies Organizations that do not take advantage of new and emerging technologies will find they are outdated and in danger of extinction. However, jumping on the new technology bandwagon without a strategy, roadmap, and business alignment will certainly lead to diminished returns and technology risk exposure. Pro System Security Technology Transformation Services Modernizing IT operations can help reduce operational costs while increasing the agility and efficiency of IT operations and services. Learn how we help refine the way IT approaches services, deployment, and support with our technology transformation services. 1. For more information, read Protiviti’s white paper, The 5G Effect — Lessons Learned from Real-World 5G Applications and the Roadmap Ahead: www.protiviti.com/us-en/whitepaper/5g-effect.