Three new major risks have emerged for South African businesses in the latest Allianz Risk Barometer 2016, with the business landscape expected to experience a substantial shift in 2016, said Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty on Wednesday.
Cyber incidents, business interruption (BI) and changes in legislation and regulation have, for the first time, topped the list of concerns of surveyed businesses, which also includes the impact of disruptive events and fierce competition in markets.
These types of concerns have become more pertinent to businesses than traditional industrial risks, such as natural catastrophes or fires.
The barometer found that 42% of businesses red-flagged cyber incidents, while 32% highlighted BI and 26% legislative and regulatory changes as risks to watch out for in the near term.
Twenty-six per cent of businesses also believed that macroeconomic developments, such as austerity programmes, commodity price increases and inflation or deflation were a risk. Power blackouts also debuted on the list, with 21% of businesses now deeming this a risk, along with market developments.
Fire and explosions, new technologies, political risks, theft, fraud and corruption also made the top ten risks for businesses in South Africa.
The top three business risks globally were BI, including supply chain disruption; market developments, including volatility, intensified competition and market stagnation; and cyber incidents.
BI remains the top risk for businesses globally for the fourth consecutive year; however, many companies are concerned that BI losses, which usually result from property damage, will increasingly be driven by cyber-attacks, technical failure or geopolitical instability as new “non-physical damage” causes of disruption.
Cyber incidents, including cybercrime or data breaches and technical information technology failures, were also cited as the most important long-term risk for companies in the next ten years, with the third-ranking market developments also a major riser in this year’s Allianz Risk Barometer.
In contrast, natural catastrophes fell, reflecting the fact that, in 2015, losses from natural disasters reached their lowest level since 2009.
“The corporate risk landscape is changing as many industrial sectors are undergoing a fundamental transformation,” explained Allianz CEO Chris Fisher Hirs.
“New technologies, increasing digitalisation and the Internet of Things are changing customer behaviour, industrial operations and business models, bringing a wealth of opportunities, but also raising awareness of the need for an enterprise-wide response to new challenges.”
The barometer surveyed some 824 respondents from 44 countries.