Rizici i održivost poslovanja

Risk anticipation and business sustainability

Challenges and opportunities in the global business environment

The year 2023 is coming to an end, and business around the world continues to face many unique challenges and opportunities. The global business environment has never been more dynamic, with a multitude of factors shaping the risks companies must face, transforming from geopolitical tensions to economic fluctuations and technological disruptions.

All this helps economic stability remain elusive as the world continues to grapple with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures and labour shortages, as the main economic challenges facing businesses. The policies and activities of central banks, which try to stabilise inflation through interest rates and simultaneously maintain market dynamics, play a key role in determining the financial health of companies around the world, while the energy market generates an additional impulse of disorder and volatility, due to the crisis in Ukraine, especially in Europe. Navigation in such a framework requires an agile approach to financial planning, diversifying the supply chain and careful management of costs, with constant research of market opportunities, but also timely and proper identification of existing risks, and also the risks that have the potential for further negative impact on business.

Cybersecurity risks

Digital technology, developed to create higher quality and better life conditions and connect the world, got its opposite and is now not only a tool for a better life, but also an endangerment tool. Entering all spheres of life, digitalisation in business processes has opened up new opportunities for cybercriminals, and as organisations rely more on technology, the risk of cyberattacks grows exponentially. In 2024, businesses must be prepared to face not only traditional threats such as ransomware and data breaches, but also new challenges in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-driven attacks.

Technological changes

New technologies are developing extremely fast. Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing can reshape industries overnight. While these innovations offer enormous opportunities, they also represent significant risks for companies unable to follow the pace of innovation and adapt to it.

Disruptions in supply chains

Supply chains are vulnerable to disruptions for various reasons: pandemics, natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, macroeconomic trends, labour shortages and critical infrastructure failures are some of the most significant. To the already extensive list of causes that lead to supply interruptions, in 2022 and 2023 the energy crisis was added as a new factor, which incites additional concern, with the prospect of continuing in the foreseeable future.

Ecology and climate change risks

Climate change is an increasingly serious threat to business. Climatic events, such as extreme weather conditions, and their devastating effects lead to difficult revitalising consequences in all spheres of life. In 2023, companies are also facing increasing pressure from stakeholders, including investors, customers and regulatory bodies, to adopt the concept of sustainable development and introduce it into their practices.

Geopolitical tensions

Geopolitical tensions have become a constant in the global business environment. Trade disputes, sanctions and political instability can disrupt supply chains, affect access to markets and introduce regulatory uncertainty. For multinational corporations, navigating these geopolitical waters requires a delicate balance. Diversification of suppliers and markets, close monitoring of geopolitical developments and scenario planning are key strategies for managing these risks. Building relationships with local partners and stakeholders can also help mitigate geopolitical challenges.

Based on research conducted by the Allianz Group, where 2,712 respondents from nearly 100 countries participated in a survey and chose three risks that they consider currently the most threatening to business in their area (companies all around the world, brokers, industry trade organisations, risk consultants, insurers, senior managers, claims specialists and other risk management experts), the Barometer of the most significant risks to business in 2023 was formed.

The year 2023 has brought a complex and constantly evolving landscape of business risks. Organisations that adopt a proactive and adaptive approach to risk management will be successful.