The future will see a sharper focus on resilience and strategic risk management, predicts survey

Ninety-four percent of nearly 1,000 risk managers polled by the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) said they believed the case for risk management was strengthened by the pandemic experience of COVID-19.

“These topics have been around for some time but this period of crisis will focus attention on ensuring organisations have the people and skills to raise their game to what will be required in ‘the new normal’,” said IRM chair Iain Wright.

The research found that a third of organisations had not considered pandemic risk or anything similar before the COVID-crisis began.

While 28% said they had considered both the financial and operational impact of a global pandemic, while 26% had considered similar scenarios, just a fifth of those had taken actions to ensure their organisations were more resilient to the threat.

Wright said: “In 2020 that world was turned upside down as a long observed, although perhaps not sufficiently managed, risk –global pandemic – became a live issue.”

Eighty-two percent said they were satisfied with their organisation’s initial response from a crisis management and business continuity perspective. And 86% revealed they had set up a dedicated crisis management working group.

Wright added: “It appears that our community is fully engaged with the pandemic response, with 98% still at – appropriately distanced - work, dealing with current issues and preparing for the future.”

“Good technology, good communications and good leadership have been rightly highlighted as the key positive factors in maintaining operations.”

“Although there are realistic concerns about the scale of what has happened and what will happen, many reported how their personal and organisational investment in risk management expertise has paid off.”