HLB Survey of Business Leaders 2024: Disruption and opportunity

Business leaders are navigating a complex maze of challenges, from inflation to rising geopolitical tensions and the energy crises. At HLB Global, we are keen to help these leaders deal with such challenges and conduct an annual survey to gauge the current sentiment.

Worries about geopolitical risks, cyber threats and the environment have escalated dramatically over the five years since our survey began. However, technology can drive rapid change and open up new opportunities for innovation and efficiencies across all sectors. As a key enabler for business adoption, keeping abreast of new technologies could be essential to ensure survival and success in challenging times.

Below, we look at the views of leaders in the technology sector. We asked them what they will focus on in 2024 and how they will leverage changes to the international business landscape. We also asked them how they are deploying new technologies to innovate and grow, including AI (both in their own businesses and for use by their clients).

Business confidence in the sector is on the rise

Across most sectors, business leaders are confident that the global economy has turned a corner. This is despite a conveyor belt of international crises, from changing geopolitical pressures to resource spikes, climate change uncertainty, misinformation, and risks of social upheaval.

Leaders in the tech sector are slightly less concerned than their global peers about these risks. Still, their top concerns include inflation, as 68% of respondents mentioned, followed by geopolitical risks (67%) and cyber security (65%).

Some risk factors could affect access to and growth of certain technologies, which could, in turn, amplify the social and business impact. This may be why concern about certain risks has increased within the technology sector over the past five years. For example, 54% of respondents are worried about social instability versus 23% in 2019. 52% are now concerned about misinformation versus 44% five years ago, and the percentage of those worried about climate risk has risen from 31% to 57% over the same period.

51% of tech leaders expect the global economy to grow over the next year.

This is a sharp increase compared with the 29% who expressed an opinion five years ago when the survey began. These leaders are 10% more confident about global growth than their peers in other sectors.

Tech leaders are also more confident in their ability to grow revenues than their peers across other sectors (93% versus 85%). There is even more of a gap regarding those who are “very confident” in their own company’s ability to grow revenue over the next year (53% vs. 37%).

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