Global report provides valuable insights for Gibraltar businesses


CEOs confident of growth despite challenges of disruption and cybercrime

While 72 per cent of top executives believe the next three years will be more critical to their industry than the previous 50 years, the vast majority are confident in their company’s growth prospects, according to a recent report issued by KPMG.

The 2016 Global Outlook, a survey of nearly 1300 CEOs worldwide, also revealed that 86 per cent of CEOs interviewed were confident in their home country’s growth, 85 per cent were confident in their industry and 80 per cent were confident in the global economy.

Major areas of concern related to customer loyalty, the impact of the global economy on their business if growth forecasts are not realised and a lack of time to think strategically in response to forces of disruption or innovation.

While the report is based on a survey of CEOs internationally, KPMG Gibraltar’s Managing Director Jon Tricker said there was much for Gibraltarian businesses to consider in its findings: “The report shows that while most CEOs are optimistic about their company’s future prospects, the pace of change that is being driven by new technology across all industries is forcing businesses to re-evaluate their behaviour and their approach to the market.

“It is telling that despite their optimism, some 82 per cent of those surveyed are concerned whether their company’s current products or services will even be relevant to customers three years from now.

“Disruptive new entrants are transforming the way traditional businesses work and CEOs are recognising that they need to harness new technology and develop specialised talent to strengthen their capabilities and keep ahead of the game.

“With four in 10 CEOs expecting to significantly change their operating model over the next three years, it’s a case of now or never for many to make an essential leap forward.”

The negative impact of new technology was a feature in the top risks identified by those participating in the report. Cyber security was at the top of the risk list in the 2016 report, despite not even making the top five in 2015, with 72 per cent of CEOs admitting they believed their organisation is not fully prepared for a cyber event.

Concerns were also voiced about the level of data and analytical sophistication within their companies, and their ability to connect with customers through digital channels.

Jon Tricker commented:  “Cyber security is a huge concern for any business, wherever they are in the world, and it has to be a major consideration for Gibraltar both from a financial and reputational point of view. KPMG’s cyber security workshop at the recent eGaming Summit at the Sunborn highlighted some of these issues and it is clear that Gibraltarian businesses need more preventative measures.

“Interestingly, in the Global Outlook Report, there was a strong willingness from respondents to share their experiences about privacy breaches and that shared learning is something that we could easily undertake here in Gibraltar.”

On a more positive note, 99 per cent of CEOs interviewed said they were taking action to develop future and existing talent and 96 per cent were expecting to increase headcount over the next three years.