Gareth Byatt, principal consultant of Sydney-based Risk Insight Consulting, sees three main, interconnected forces that will keep you on your toes.
WHAT DOES THE INTERCONNECTED WORLD MEAN FOR US?
Connectivity in business and commerce (as well as socially) has been progressing for millennia. But now it’s speeding up, with today’s products and services being designed, produced and traded all around the world. Competition is truly global. The World Economic Forum sees this “hyper-connectivity” as an opportunity that spurs innovation. But there are also dynamic risks to manage. These risks must be properly understood by businesses in order for them to prosper.
HOW DO ORGANISATIONS HANDLE THE HUGE AMOUNTS OF DATA – THE “NEW OIL” – AVAILABLE TO THEM?
The capturing and use of data is a vital element in today’s business world – the Economist described data as the “new oil”. Better data helps you make better and more risk-informed decisions. We’re still working on how to fully harness the increasing amounts of data we are capturing. The important thing for organisations is to be proactive in approaching their data.
WITH CYBER ATTACKS ON THE RISE, ISN’T THE DIGITISATION OF BUSINESS A SERIOUS THREAT?
We’re living in the age of the fourth industrial revolution where the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI are becoming the new normal. Businesses must embrace these developments but still be diligent about managing cyber risk.
I also want to highlight geopolitical uncertainty as an important area of uncertainty in our interconnected world. Regulatory and trading environments in different geographic regions and countries are changing constantly, in part to keep up with the digitised world. These bring new compliance requirements that can lead to sizeable ﬁ nes and reputational damage in the event of breaches.
Organisations also need to build in resilience to avoid major disruption to what are often complex supply chains such as from extreme weather or public health outbreaks. Scenario planning can help. Businesses can design scenarios that predict how risks would affect them and then agree on measures to work through them.
Overall though, it’s vital that businesses instil a constantly proactive culture that anticipates risk and uncertainty.