Top 10 Risks Ranking Reflects Cable's Ongoing Concerns

A top 10 list of corporate risk factors companies face in 2015 includes at least four that cable industry executives can relate to first-hand, including regulatory changes, cyber threats, identity management and customer retention.

In “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks 2015,” their third annual survey of global business executives, consulting firm Protiviti and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative at the North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management found that regulatory issues continue to dominate perceived risks across all industries, while data security has climbed up into the top three concerns.

More than two-thirds (67%) of the 277 respondents – corporate board members and C-suite and other top executives – ranked regulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny as the No. 1 risk factor they’ll grapple with this year. Regulatory issues also topped the list the prior two years.

High-profile data breaches in 2014, such as the Sony hacking scandal, elevated managing cyber threats to the No. 3 concern on the 2015 list, up three positions from sixth place in 2014, with more than half (53%) of respondents indicating that insufficient preparation to manage cyber threats is a risk that will "significantly impact" their organizations this year. The uptick reflects increased concern about the damage to operations – and reputations -- that potential breaches can cause, Protiviti said.

At No. 7 on the list, ranked as significant by 52% of respondents is identity management, a technical and operational issue facing cable operators and programmers as they expand viewers’ access to content to additional screens. And coming in at No. 9 was customer retention, with 48% citing “evolving customer preferences and/or demographic shifts in our existing customer base” as a top risk factor. Can you say Millennial Cord-Cutters (and cord-nevers)?

Following is the survey’s Top 10 ranking; for more information on the study, visit Protoviti’s website.

The Top 10 Risks for 2015

Following are the top 10 risks identified in the annual risk survey, along with the percentages of respondents who identified each risk as having a "Significant Impact" on their business.

  1. Regulatory changes and heightened regulatory scrutiny may affect the manner in which our products or services will be produced or delivered (67 percent).
  2. Economic conditions in markets we currently serve may significantly restrict growth opportunities for our organization (56 percent).
  3. Our organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage cyber threats that have the potential to significantly disrupt our core operations and/or damage our brand (53 percent).
  4. Our organization's succession challenges and ability to attract and retain top talent may limit our ability to achieve operational targets (56 percent).
  5. Our organization's culture may not sufficiently encourage the timely identification and escalation of risk issues that have the potential to significantly affect our core operations and achievement of strategic objectives (51 percent).
  6. Resistance to change may restrict our organization from making necessary adjustments to the business model and core operations (49 percent).
  7. Ensuring privacy/identity management and information security/system protection may require significant resources for us (52 percent).
  8. Our organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage an unexpected crisis significantly impacting our reputation (46 percent).
  9. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention may be increasingly difficult due to evolving customer preferences and/or demographic shifts in our existing customer base (48 percent).
  10. Our existing operations may not be able to meet performance expectations related to quality, time to market, cost and innovation as well as our competitors (46 percent).