Cyber threats, climate crisis not priority for business leaders

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Cyprus businesses feel more confident over future growth prospects but don’t consider climate change or cybersecurity as major threats, a PwC survey indicates.

According to PwC’s Annual CEO Survey findings among Cyprus business leaders, 61% of the country’s CEOs are confident the global economy will grow over the next 12 months compared to a mere 18% in 2020.

When it comes to the growth and profitability of their organizations, 77% of CEOs in Cyprus said they are confident about their revenue growth prospects in the next 12 months. On a three-year horizon, confidence levels rise to 88%.

However, CEO’s appear to be more concerned over threats to the economy compared to 2020.

They are mainly concerned over the course of the pandemic, with 59% of CEOs in Cyprus “extremely concerned” about the impact of pandemics and other health crises on their organization’s growth prospects.

The top five threats in Cyprus include uncertain economic growth with 53% (marking a significant increase compared to last year’s 32%) and geopolitical uncertainty, also 53%.

It is followed by policy uncertainty with 43% (compared to 26% in 2020) and over-regulation 39%.

Digital acceleration

Businesses have become more aware that digitalizing their organizations is a one-way street if they want to thrive in the new digital era.

According to the survey, 83% of CEOs in Cyprus plan to increase their long-term investments in digital transformation over the next three years.

Paradoxically, cyberthreats are not included in the top 5 threats despite the registered increase in concern compared to previous years.

At the same time, CEOs place cybersecurity and data privacy (52%) lower than the investments they are planning for their digital transformation.

Climate change

CEOs appear to be less anxious about climate change and environmental damage.

Only 28% see this as a threat to their company’s growth prospects, while only 30% of business leaders factoring climate change into their strategic risk management activities.

The 10th Cyprus CEO survey was presented during a special online event attended by Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC.

Moritz said: “The pandemic did accelerate the trends we were already seeing, forcing everybody to proceed with digital transformation, all at the same time.

“This process was done in order to achieve survival in those conditions. Digital reform is now a prerequisite for organizations to succeed”.

The panel discussion that followed was coordinated by and Bob Moritz and was attended by Andrea Antoniou, Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Europe, Iron Mountain and Antonis Polemitis, CEO of the University of Nicosia.

Commenting on the findings, PwC Cyprus CEO Evgenios Evgeniou argued the pandemic has acted as an accelerator of pre-existing trends and an enhancer of the power of change.

“Today’s environment leads to the rapid evolution of companies which are called to address multiple challenges as well as to invest in technology and their people in order to prepare for the future”.

The PwC Cyprus survey saw a record participation of 135 business leaders.

The survey is available on www.pwc.com.cy/ceosurvey