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Data security, IT staffing and AI challenges seen as obstacles to growth

Many C-suite executives and board members think a combination of factors—including rising competition for specialized talent, the ability to advance in digital maturity and embrace the transformative opportunities of technology, and unknown future regulatory changes—could impact their ability to effectively compete, grow their business, and achieve operational targets in 2020 and beyond.

That’s among the key findings of a new study by global consulting firm Protiviti and North Carolina State University, which is based on a survey they conducted of more than 1,000 board members and C-suite executives from organizations in a variety of industries worldwide.

Survey respondents were asked to rate 30 macroeconomic, strategic, and operational risks. Some of the top risks identified are related to IT and data management:

  • Regulatory changes and scrutiny that might impact operational resilience and production and delivery of products and services.
  • Limited operational resilience of legacy IT infrastructure and digital capabilities that might restrict the organization’s ability to compete with “born digital” players.
  • Possibly insufficient preparedness to manage cyber threats.
  • Ensuring privacy/identity management and information security/system protection might be challenging.
  • Adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technologies might require new skills that are either in short supply or require significant upskilling/reskilling of existing employees.

“As the future of work evolves, businesses need to upskill and reskill existing employees—particularly as digital innovations, such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and robotics become a mainstay in organizations—to ensure they remain competitive with ‘born digital’ companies and are future-proofed for the next decade,” said Jim DeLoach, a Protiviti managing director and co-author of the report.

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