Top five risks to businesses in the second half of 2020


A second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak is the number one concern amongst senior executives in the second quarter of 2020, according to Gartner’s 2Q20 Emerging Risks Monitor Report.

The study has revealed that although the majority of global economies are still struggling with the first wave of the pandemic, the pressing issue amongst business executives is the second wave.

Concerns related to the financial implications of the pandemic were present throughout the top 10, with executives, in particular, expressing concerns about their organisations’ new working conditions and strategic responses to the crisis.

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The top five concerns amongst executives since the third quarter of 2019 include:

1Digitalisation MisconceptionsStrategic AssumptionsStrategic AssumptionsThe Second Wave
2Lagging DigitalizationCyber-Physical ConvergenceCyber-Physical ConvergenceThe New Working Model
3Strategic AssumptionsExtreme Weather Events2020 US Presidential ElectionStrategic Corrections
4Data LocalizationData LocalizationData Localization2020 US Presidential Election
5U.S.-China Trade TalksU.S.-China Trade TalksMacroeconomic StagnationUS/China Trade Talks

Matt Shinkman, vice president with the Gartner Risk and Audit Practice, said: “The concerns about a second wave of the pandemic reveal the psychological fragility of most business leaders heading into summer.

“Executives have been grappling with reopening strategies, complicated by different stages of the coronavirus in different regions. It’s now becoming clear that a ‘re-exit plan’ will also be a required part of any such strategy.”

The report is based on a survey of 131 senior executives across industries and geographies.

Read more about the report and analysis.