During a live poll at StrategicRISK’s Knowledge Singapore event, risk managers mapped out the effectiveness of controls in managing digital transformation risk. 

Loss in brand equity and reputation damage, data theft and lack of technological innovation were ranked as the top three digital transformation risks by Asia-Pacific risk managers, during a live poll at StrategicRISK’s Knowledge Singapore event, held in partnership with Zurich. 

More than 50 senior risk managers gathered in Singapore to take part in the in the peer-to-peer workshop and risk  ‘hackathon’ – an interactive role-play on how to use data and data analytics to inform decision-making.

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Gordon Song, PARIMA board member, kicked-off the event with a presentation tracking how the digital revolution is transforming today’s risk landscape.

His presentation highlighted people risks, cyber threats and reputational damage as the most prominent risks in today’s digital era – further exacerbated by interconnected risks linked to privacy, regulation, trust, social media.

Unsurprisingly, these risks correlate with the results of live poll. During the event, risk managers were asked to select the top three risks which concerned them most. 

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Reputation damage was ranked the number one risk for corporates (23%). This was followed closely by data theft (17%); and lack of technological innovation (13%), both of which can lead to catastrophic damage to a company’s brand.

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When asked to rank the effectiveness of their controls in managing these risks, risk managers said they had little control in managing the risk of lack of innovation – an interesting finding, given the level of innovation taken place now, as corporates begin embedding more digital capabilities.

People-related risks, including skill set relevance and talent management, was also ranked low in terms of effectiveness of controls. This may correlate with a need for fresh talent where advanced technology and data analytics are concerned.

The poll was followed by a practical presentation by Nigel Tay, ERM and insurance lead at StarHub, who gave his top three lessons for agile risk management in the digital era.

These include:

1. Get involved: get an invite to stakeholder risk and commercial discussions, even if you are just sitting in. Risk information is inherent in such discussions.

2. Make risk about more than just risk management. Engage your stakeholders through other angles and show that you are more versatile and can converse on other topics than risk

3. Make better use of your stakeholder’s time: do the heavy pre-work and prepare your manuals.

The event closed on a high note – a cyber scenario hackathon, led by Chris Corless, former senior risk manager at Orica, BHP and Vale

Delegates were told to take on the role of a risk manager for a large international hotel brand. In groups, they were given one of two scenarios to work through:

  1. Set up analytics to monitor to inform decision-making and help reduce/prevent fraud
  2. Set up analytics to monitor one cause of risk to brand and reputation, which will help inform decision-making

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Risk managers were asked to identify data that could be used to monitor the risk; outline how they plan to use the data; and finally, detail how the data will inform decision-making.

Delegates regrouped to share feedback: areas such a social media analysis, customer surveys and complaints, detailed inventories of personal data, were identified as valuable data points. These were mapped against risk threshold to inform decision-making.

The key takeaway? There is a huge opportunity for risk managers to better leverage internal data assets to help their business make more informed decisions.  Now is the time to start experimenting. 

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