Business and Technology Risks: Expectations vs. Reality

Risk is a natural part of the business landscape. If left unmanaged, the uncertainty can spread like weeds. If managed effectively, losses can be avoided, and benefits obtained. Some of these potential risks can destroy a business while others can cause serious damage that can be costly and time-consuming to repair. 

Every technology implementation provides capabilities and functionality for business operations, and it also introduces new business and technical risks that organization must manage.

Business risks have direct impact on your profit margin, most businesses are only one major occurrence of one critical business risk to impact their profit margin for entire quarter or year.

Business owners have legal obligations in relation to privacy, electronic transactions, and staff training that influence IT risk management of successful business people having a meeting in executive sunlit office

Here is list of common technology related business risks

HR Risks: Considering IT Professionals change organization on average every 2-4 years and IT industry has highest talent turnover 13.2% based on LinkedIn research, most organizations don’t have process to assess IT skill set required for their business, hiring process for new IT Staff and training/onboarding new staff. Employee turn over in business is inevitable, but do you have process to manage this risk. Do you have plan in place to deal with key IT Staff turnover?

Financial Risks: Any unpredictable event will have financial impact in business either loosing critical payroll hours (time in payroll) or loss of opportunity to generate revenue. You can also review financial impact of technology on payroll and revenue.

Technology Risks: Today, changes in technology represent the main challenge facing tomorrow’s business leaders, according to a new survey. Modern technology is all about efficiency and speed, as technology matures, it provides new options for business to improve their business process and be competitive. As technologies changes, business process must evolve to stay current, access technology impact on business here 

Security Risks: Gone are the days when companies could pass the headaches of cyber security to the IT department, as it has become more of a business issue. This is especially important as businesses are more digitized, meaning they are exposed to an increasing number of threats if they do not manage the risk of security properly. So many case studies and research report provide details on security risksDo you have process/plan to manage this risk?

Data Loss/Theft and Confidentiality/Privacy Risks: Data breaches happen daily, in too many places at once to keep count. Data theft is a growing problem for individuals as well as large corporations and organizations. Data theft occurs both outside and inside companies, and reducing the risk of insider data theft at the corporate level is anything but easy. This is especially true because your staff have access to external devices including USBs, smart phones, and other removable and mobile devices. Are you govern by company policy and do you have means to measure effectiveness of your policy?

Business Continuity Risks: In IT, failure is not an option. Not surprisingly, organizations have made it a high priority to develop and implement reliable business continuity plans to ensure that IT services are always available to internal users and outside customers.

But recent technology developments and trends, most notably server and desktop virtualization, cloud computing, the emergence of mobile devices in the workforce and social networks, are having an impact on how enterprises handle IT business continuity planning and testing. Much of the impact is for the better, experts say, but these trends can also create new challenges for IT, information security and risk management executives

Compliance and Regulation Risks: Remaining compliant with data has always been a concern for organizations. Previously, most compliance initiatives were driven by national legislation like HIPAA and SOX and rooted in security concerns around hardware and software. Today, however, enterprises must manage, govern and ensure compliance for the overwhelming amount of data they produce, especially in the face of global legislation like GDPR, rather than national regulations.

Business risks that are usually not considered

Competitive Advantage: For most organizations, technology provides competitive advantages. How do you maintain this competitive advantage, and can you gain unprecedented edge over others with technology? How do you measure and monitor this risk?

Higher operating cost compare to other similar organizations: Are your technology investment aligned with other organizations of your industry type and your company size? Are you investing too much or too little compare to your competition and also do you compare your business results?

Lower revenue - wasted payroll hours: Do you measure how many payroll hours are wasted each week/month? Please review impact of Technology on your payroll.

Losing brand/reputation with poor IT decisions: Security breaches and poor implementation of business application is major cause of losing brand reputation. While marketing pros pointed to a loss of customers and a decline in revenue, the biggest issues for IT were recovery time, decreased productivity and the fear of job loss. As organizations build their tech roadmap for the years ahead, the wrong choices and strategies could have unfortunate repercussions. 

Business reputation and corporate culture: The movement towards increased automation of business processes has gained traction over the years. It improves efficiency and increases workflow considerably.

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