These Are The Biggest Risks For Business In 2022, According To 700 Execs

A new survey on business leaders across U.S. industries places cybersecurity and talent acquisition as the two biggest risks for business in 2022.

The survey was performed in early August by professional service provider PwC. It gathered answers from more than 700 C-suite and executive-level representatives from public and private companies in six sectors: industrial products, consumer markets, financial services, technology, media and telecom, health industries, energy and utilities.

What Are 2022’s Biggest Business Risks?

Forty percent of respondents cited more frequent or broader cyberattacks as a serious risk. Talent acquisition and retention posed a serious risk for 38%, followed by rising production costs and supply chain disruptions, both at 34%.

Other risks include high interest rates, inflation leading to reduced demand, a possible recession, U.S.-China tensions, climate change and social unrest in the U.S.

Most managers are focused on growth: 83% of respondents said they’re focusing their business strategy on growth as a way to hedge against business risk. To grow, companies are looking at M&A through acquisitions, as well as internal investments into digital transformation, IT, cybersecurity and privacy and customer experience.

Dealing With Labor Shortages

Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they have changed or are planning to change processes to address labor shortages. In PwC’s January edition of the same survey, this number was 56%.

Related: The Pandemic Created a Labor Shortage, But Not For The Reasons You Think

Seventy percent said that expanding remote roles has become a strategy towards dealing with the talent acquisition crisis. Fifty-two percent said they’re pursuing company acquisitions to gain access to new talent. Sixty-four percent said they’re increasing compensation for current employees in order to retain talent.

Still, making new hires does not equal expanding the workforce headcount. Executives mentioned the importance of having the right people on board versus just having more employees. Fifty percent of respondents said they’re actually reducing their overall headcount and focusing on finding the right people for each role.

Cybersecurity Concerns Become Commonplace Across Verticals

Fifty-one percent of board members cited cybersecurity as a serious risk, more than any other category of business leader. This points to cybersecurity becoming a companywide concern, and not just an issue for cybersecurity personnel.

Seventy-eight percent of all respondents said cybersecurity was either a serious or a moderate risk.

This hike in concerns around cyber attacks can be explained in part by the fact that companies are operating more and more in digital environments, using increasingly digitized processes.

Additionally, boards of directors were encouraged to oversee cybersecurity risk in a new set of guidelines elevated by the SEC in March.

For these reasons, 84% of respondents said to be monitoring closely or taking action on potential regulatory changes around cybersecurity, while 79% are revising or enhancing cyber risk management.

Shutterstock image.

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