A large per cent of Irish executives believe their business will not survive another decade if it continues on its current path against a backdrop of increasing technological disruption and climate transition-related challenges, PwC research has found.
Based on a survey of 121 Irish chief executives, some 28 per cent of company leaders in the Republic said they do not expect their organisation to be around in 10 years unless it reinvents itself amid “seismic shifts” in technological adoption and the risks associated with climate change, PwC said this was up from 21 per cent last year.
More than half (53 per cent) of Irish companies reported that they reallocate more than 10 per cent of their company’s resources every year to reinvention – 14 points lower than the global figure.
Many Irish CEOs reported that they face similar challenges compared to their global peers as they try to reinvent themselves. For example, the regulatory environment (Ireland was at 88 per cent versus 89 per cent globally); competing operational priorities (Ireland 88 per cent, global 85 per cent) and a lack of skills (Ireland at 75 per cent, with global at 84 per cent).
David McGee, ESG Leader at PwC Ireland, said: “The survey confirms that businesses are reinventing their operating models, investing in technology and their people and managing the risks and opportunities presented by the climate transition and other disrupters.
“GenAI is another game changer bringing opportunities and risks. The companies who embrace this new technology will reap their rewards. If businesses are to thrive over the short and long-term, build trust to deliver sustained and long-term value, they must accelerate the pace of reinvention.”
The survey also found that decision-makers in the Republic were more confident about the trajectory of the economy at the end of last year than they were a year earlier. Half of survey respondents said they were optimistic compared with 33 per cent last year.
However, confidence was “fragile” as new and more persistent challenges remain at the forefront of executives’ minds.
More than one-third of respondents said they expect economic growth in the Republic to decline in 2024 with inflation, macroeconomic volatility and cyber risks cited as the top reasons for concern.
While 94 per cent said they were confident about their own company’s revenue prospects over the next three years, just 50 per cent were extremely confident.
“In an uncertain world, securing the longevity of their businesses has never been more challenging,” said Enda McDonagh, PwC Ireland managing partner. “From macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical threats to climate action and the rise of generative AI, the challenges facing CEOs continue to grow more complex. Framed in the context of this complexity and the increasing pace of change, more and more business leaders are acknowledging the need to reinvent their business for sustained success.”
Separately on Monday, the annual Pulse of the Nation research from Amárach identifies what it calls a “vibecession” among consumers, a dip in people’s feelings about the economy even when economic indicators appear to be improving.