Directors facing post-pandemic challenges

Zhu Shenshen
Asia Pacific Board Director Barometer Report finds many company executives ill prepared for hybrid form of meetings forced on them by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Zhu Shenshen

Company directors in the Asia Pacific are facing data security challenges with the pandemic blocking business trips and necessitating virtual meetings and remote working, according to an industry survey. 

Without tools to ensure security and efficiency, many directors are ill prepared for the hybrid format of meetings both in-person and virtual. Some 54 percent of directors expect the hybrid format to be the most popular form of meetings in the post-pandemic period, according to the 2021 Asia Pacific Board Director Barometer Report.

The report, by Tricor Group and the Financial Times, surveyed 771 board members in organizations including startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, multinational corporations, non-profits and listed companies. 

About 83 percent of directors were concerned about data security and ill prepared to address security risks and inefficiencies, according to the report. 

About 73 percent of directors said the pandemic had forced their boards to explore new digital tools. But a third of boards had not been successful in adopting digital tools and digital transformation, which also brought a digital divide and isolated data networks. 

“In these times of uncertainty, digital transformation can mean the difference between businesses surviving, thriving or shutting,” said Zhang Hailiang, Tricor China's CEO.

Tricor is a Hong Kong-based business consultancy firm, which attended last November’s China International Import Expo in Shanghai. 

On the other hand, the report says Asia Pacific leaders are rapidly pushing operations forward on issues such as business continuity planning and risk management, despite the pandemic.

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