Welcome to our third annual KPMG Irish CEO Outlook.
At a time of great technological disruption and opportunity, our survey provides insight into the thinking of Irish CEOs and over 1,300 of their global peers.
We asked CEOs of large companies from Ireland and around the world for their views of the highest-priority opportunities and most daunting challenges they and their businesses face. As in previous years, we’ve seen how quickly the world is changing for business leaders, and what this means for how they are leading and growing their organisations.
Exploring a broad range of business drivers and risks, this year’s Irish CEO Outlook offers insights into how new and evolving forces are continuing to raise the bar for business leaders.
In 2017, we found Irish CEOs excited about the future: they saw technology-driven change as a significant opportunity to disrupt their sector. That optimism continues in 2018, with business leaders showing continued faith in the economic environment, both nationally and globally.
However, that optimism is tempered by caution and realism, with a clear recognition that in order to grow their businesses, they need to respond to an ever-expanding spectrum of complex challenges and ‘growing pains.’ While the CEOs surveyed still predict that their businesses will grow in the coming year, forecasts are lower than last year, and a majority say they need to hit growth targets before they start hiring new people.
Technology is commanding ever increasing attention – as an enabler, a disruptor and, with the threat of cyber attacks, a very significant risk. Data privacy is also understandably high on the CEO agenda.
It’s not surprising in the current environment to see geopolitical issues featuring on the CEO radar. Brexit and US economic policy are just two highly visible examples of how geopolitics has risen up the board agenda for Irish business.
Reviewing these insights from senior executives, one can’t help but be struck by the sheer volume and depth of the issues CEOs face and how they are personally focusing their efforts as leaders to deal with them.
“Optimism is tempered by caution and realism.” Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner, KPMG in Ireland
Our thanks go to all the CEOs who gave their time and spoke so candidly about the issues they face in their roles. Being a CEO in this period of such profound disruption and opportunity poses immense personal and professional challenges for each and every CEO. The CEOs I speak with across Ireland are more open to new thinking, learning new skills and challenging convention than ever before.
If you would like to talk to our professionals about the perspectives and issues raised here, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how your business can gain from these insights.