PwC's 22nd annual global CEO Survey shows that Irish leaders are cautiously optimistic, looking to find ways to grow their businesses amidst the atmosphere of uncertainty.
While almost 60% of CEOs believe in Ireland's growth prospects, there is an increase in those who are uncertain about the Irish economy. But when it comes to their own businesses, CEOs are much more optimistic.
They anticipate that the year ahead will be focused on growth by way of things they can control themselves. In light of external uncertainties like Brexit, it is critical that CEOs take charge of their own destiny.
CEOs' focus is turning inward, to things they can control in their businesses. They are planning to invest in organic activities within their organisations they believe will propel them to success. That means they must ensure their organisations' combination of processes, tools, workforce and culture are fit to cultivate, deliver and sustain growth.
As CEOs look inside their businesses for growth opportunities, they are contending with gaps in their organisation's data analytics capabilities. Irish CEOs need to ensure they are extracting the maximum value out of their data to allow them to leverage new technologies in sustainable ways.
To help unlock internal growth potential in their organisations, CEOs are paying close attention to emerging digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Irish CEOs need to understand how AI can be applied in their businesses, and ensure their businesses have the right talent, data and technology to exploit the opportunities that AI presents.
The challenge of finding staff with the right skills is at an all-time high. The majority of Irish CEOs see this as the biggest threat to potential business growth. Irish businesses should look inwards and invest in their workforce to make them fit for the future, providing them with the right training and career development support.