Retail sector least resilient to future disruption

The water sector has been identified as the industry most resilient to future disruption, and retail as the least, according to a new survey from professional services company GHD.

The firm’s UK disruption index analysed the risk of disruption to 11 key sectors, including construction, manufacturing, financial services, and energy, considering the outlook for each in terms of customers, business models, assets, and levels of innovation.

Among the findings, the research found that 77% of business leaders consider their organisation to be prepared for disruption in the future and 80% believe their company has proved more resilient than expected, given the challenges of the past two years.

Looking ahead, bosses see economic uncertainty as the factor that will cause the biggest disruption to their organisation in the next 10 years, followed by changing consumer demands and Covid-19 (or other such pandemics). Changing consumer demands is a considerable vulnerability across the majority of industries and is one of the top risks for the energy, rail, financial services, and retail sectors.

Jonathan Edwards, EMEA market development leader at GHD, said: “There can be no question that the consumer has never had more information or power. Our research has confirmed that the changing behaviours and expectations of consumers presents the biggest risk to resilience across industries.

“The need to innovate is also clear. 5G is a game changer for all sectors and the Internet of Things can be rolled out in a whole new way. However, innovation isn’t just about technology, but about changing ways of working and how businesses engage with employees and consumers. Ultimately, businesses that are able to stay on top of the change and provide increasingly new insights will be the ones that succeed.

“Never before has there been such an opportunity for industries to rethink every facet of their being. If it’s not quite a blank slate, it’s the closest thing we’ve had – and will have – for some time to come. UK industry needs to take that step forward to create greater balance of connectivity, resilience, productivity and investability to ensure a strong future for the British economy.”

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