This article first appeared on The Edge Markets
KUALA LUMPUR : 83% of CEOs in Asean say their business is aiming to be the disruptor in their sector while 92% believe disruption can have a positive effect on their business, according to KPMG's 2017 Global CEO Outlook survey.
Comparatively, a smaller proportion of three in four business leaders out of the 1,300 CEOs surveyed globally expect their businesses to be disruptive, while 65% viewed disruptive forces as an opportunity instead of a threat.
"Most (CEOs) see disruption as an opportunity to transform their business model, develop new products and services, and reshape their business so it is even more successful than ever before," said John Veihmeyer, global chairman of, in a statement today. "In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, CEOs are feeling urgency to 'disrupt and grow'.
"The survey also said that in Asean, a greater proportion of CEOs expect to invest in blockchain and data analytic tools (92%); cognitive technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning (83%); and internet of things (IoT) (79%), over the next three years.
This aligned with the finding that a higher 75% of business leaders are increasing investment in recruitment, with the intention of hiring more specialised talent in the years ahead.
Meanwhile, operational risk has risen to become the highest concern for CEOs overall, followed by risks of emerging technology, reputational/brand risks, and strategic risks.
"Cyber security, which CEOs ranked as the top risk in 2016, has this year fallen to position 5 (of 16), with 42% say they feel adequately prepared for a cyber event," KPMG said in its statement.
However, Datuk Johan Idris, managing partner of KPMG in Malaysia, stressed the need for business leaders to remain vigilant and avoid complacency as the number of computers affected by the WannaCry ransomware outbreak in May 2017 is expected to increase.
"Complacency will only increase the risks across the business, from operational to reputational, with lasting impacts," said Johan.
Separately, 65% of the CEOs surveyed remain confident about the global economic outlook for the next three years, a drop from 80% in 2016, KPMG said.
69% remain confident about their own industry's growth prospect, while 83% are positive about the prospects of their own businesses over the next three years.
In the midst of this cautious optimism, 74% of CEOs place greater emphasis on trust, values and culture in order to sustain their organisations' long-term future."This is matched by 72% who correlate being a more empathetic organisation with higher earnings," KPMG said.
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