The pace of change in Irish business continues to accelerate. In addition to broad macroeconomic factors such as Brexit and the health of the domestic and global economies, Irish CEOs increasingly need to focus on issues such as transformation and disruption and the potential challenges and opportunities they create.
The speed of change means that Irish CEOs need to act now. They must also act knowingly, taking into consideration issues including:
Irish CEOs share many of the same issues and concerns as their global counterparts, facing the likelihood of many forms of disruption to their companies and finding ways to pre-empt them. It is human nature to be wary of the unknown and much of what we are living through today is on the scale of an industrial revolution.
Traditional boundaries and roles no longer apply. The lines separating industries, companies, technologies and customers are disappearing. Due to the need for speed, CEOs are realising that alliances or collaboration can be a better option to access the resources they need.
The speed of change is limiting visibility into the future, making short or medium term strategies a real challenge. The time of once-and-done transformation is over and Irish CEOs recognise that they often have little direct experience of the issues they are now having to confront. Today’s transformation is a continuous flow of incremental steps, allowing for quick adjustments and corrections, speed to market and measurement.
The idea of trust takes on an additional importance in the age of data. With so many strategic decisions potentially riding on the output of data and analytics or algorithms, there must be a heightened focus on the accuracy of data. Inevitably, data needs to be used without violating privacy and this trust needs to be upheld throughout the whole ecosystem, including the supply chain, partners and customers.
With the ability to communicate with the customer via digital channels, it is crucial to listen to customers and meet their expectations. But, it is equally important to discern what customers truly want. This has to be balanced with the value these customers generate.
Mobile technology, machine learning, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence increases security and cyber risk exponentially. CEOs increasingly recognise that all parts of the organisation need to understand cyber issues and major decisions need to be looked at through a cyber security lens.