Over half of board of directors in India may step up risk appetite in 2022: Gartner

Over half of board of directors in India may step up risk appetite in 2022: Gartner
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2 Dec, 2021

About 57% of boards of directors in India have increased or are expecting to augment their risk appetite in 2022, says a new Gartner survey. 

The survey, published on December 2 at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo India, shows that the top risks identified by the board of directors include economic uncertainty (38%), disruptive business model adopted by rivals (35%) and cost inflation due to supply chain disruption.

Partha Iyengar, Research Vice President at Gartner, said that during the pandemic, many board of directors realised the need to adapt and learn to operate in an environment of significant risk.  

As a result, many embraced the ‘try fast, fail fast approach,’ which will continue in 2022, Iyengar added.   

“They will continue taking risks such as making technology investment decisions with incomplete information or making financial bets without up-front visibility around a guaranteed return," he said. 

The survey also asked the board of directors for their top business priorities for 2022 and found that digital technology adoption remains on top of the agenda for 58% of them. However, the interest in it has fallen by 12% as compared to last year's survey.  

Iyengar said that after a spending spree on digital technologies seen in the last 12 to 18 months, enterprises are expected to "take a pause to validate their strategy and ensure ROI." 

They are likely to focus more on technology integration and creating a more sustainable digital economic architecture, where technology is used across business operations to drive outcomes, he added.  

Also read: IT budgets to grow at a 10-year high in 2022: Gartner 

The study also shows that 40% of participants have moved digital business-related budgets to business functions, rather than a central technology or IT budget, while 33% are changing the parameters to evaluate return on investments (ROI) from digital investments. 

After digital initiatives, the workforce was the second in the list of priorities for 52% of participants. However, compared to last year's survey, interest in it has grown by 86%.  

“As enterprises accelerate their digital business initiatives, the need to create a digitally agile workforce and culture transformation become that much more critical," Iyengar said.  

The survey also found that the board of directors' interest in environmental social and governance (ESG), health and sustainability has also grown by 100% since last year and will be the third on the top priority list for 2022.  

Also read: India Inc to spend over $100 bn on IT projects in 2022, report 

Around 30% of participants said their organization publicly engages in social or political issues, while 45% said they discuss diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their board meetings on a quarterly basis.  

The survey was conducted between May and June 2021 and included 273 individuals who were serving as a board of director or were a member of the corporate board of directors in companiesin the US, Europe and APAC region.