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Political Risk and Technology are Global Executives’ Hot-Button Issues In 2017, Have Implications for HR

More than 90% of C-suite executives and board members are making or are considering making changes in their supply chains and international footprints due to the current political and economic environment, according to a July 2017 A.T. Kearney Global Business Policy Council study. [1]

C-suite executives see challenges in rising political risks and increasingly populist and protectionist policies in democratic countries. For the second year in a row, respondents also indicated that worsening tax and regulatory policies remain as challenges but they also continued to focus on the role of technology on both the opportunities and challenges sides. 43 percent of executives pointed to cybersecurity as their biggest concern, and 85 percent of global executives believe cyber attacks will become more frequent and costly over the next year. And while 33 percent of those surveyed view technology adoption as a top challenge, 38 percent see it as a top opportunity: 78 percent of executives believe technological advances will lead to increased global productivity growth in the coming year.

The study offers concrete recommendations for businesses wondering how best to thrive in the current global operating environment:

In this publication’s view, teams in charge of global HR management can and should play a key role in support of their boards and colleagues in the C-suite, especially in the following areas:

The study, administered to 400 senior executives of global corporations with revenues of $500 million or more, was conducted in April 2017. About 27 percent of respondents are CEOs and about 18 percent are board members, with the remaining 55 percent comprised of other C-level executives.