Thursday, 11 October 2012

A closer look: Utilizing technology to help stay ahead of risk

Henry Ristuccia, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Global Leader of the Governance, Risk and Compliance practice.

Think about the most recent time your business encountered volatility. At those moments, the first things experienced leaders seek out are facts. Because they know that to make informed decisions when it matters most, they need the right information. But in many organizations, that’s precisely the moment when they start seriously questioning the quality of their information, their ability to interpret the signals coming from that information, and the mechanisms in place for transmitting data-driven insights throughout the organization. Whether the problem is outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate information, too much information, not enough, the wrong people getting the right information or vice versa — to name a few familiar challenges — information is at the heart of the issue.
For anyone looking to solve these problems, technology is often the place to start. While it’s clear that information challenges cannot be solved by technology alone, risk management technologies have advanced dramatically over the past few years, deserving a closer look.
Consider that as little as three years ago, risk management tools didn’t offer the ability to scan for regulatory updates, monitor online chatter, or even send automated process alerts using workflow. Today, these capabilities are a standard part of the toolkit for risk-focused executives seeking to keep risks such as compliance and reputation in check in the midst of rising volatility.
If you’re giving technology another look, here are three key criteria to help guide your decision:
  • Efficiency and transparency. Advances in tools for tracking, documenting, and reporting risk information can help companies reduce costs while improving the information’s reliability, availability, and timeliness
  • Awareness and alertness. New capabilities for monitoring the internal and external environment for signs of risk events, and for integrating information across risk management and business silos, can help companies recognize and respond to risk events more quickly.
  • Analysis and insight. Modern business analytics and visualization tools can help companies extract valuable insights from both risk and operational data. For instance, analytics can help companies develop quantitative metrics for “intangible” value drivers such as reputation, forecast the likely impacts of a particular risk event, and identify relationships among apparently unconnected risk factors that might escape the unaided eye and mind.
Of course, all of this presumes a close, active collaboration between risk leaders and their counterparts in IT. If that collaboration isn’t in place today, there’s no better place — or time — to get started.

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