The top 10 corporate risks: Can you help reduce 'em?

The Corporate Executive Board's "Risk Integration Strategy Council (RISC)" polls members on a regular basis to identify the top enterprise risks they perceive. The latest, ranked results (pdf) are:

  1. Increased competitive pressure (consumer spending has plummeted to new lows; execs need to innovate on products, prioritize on customer service, reduce expenses on their current offerings and expand their product portfolio)
  2. Compliance (expect more intense scrutiny and regulation of business practices)
  3. Fraud (employee misconduct can rise in a tough economic climate)
  4. Liquidity risk (bank credit availability will remain limited, so companies need to explore alternative funding sources)
  5. Talent risk (the market for talented and skilled professionals is hot; retaining and engaging employees is a big HR issue)
  6. Political trends (economic discontent, expanding geopolitical risk universe)
  7. Cost-reduction pressure (a significant portion of the increase in profits may have to be achieved through cost reduction)
  8. IT risk (issues include data integrity, data leakage, loss of intellectual property, cybercrime)
  9. High cost of capital (credit crunch and high cost of capital are likely to persist till global credit arkets stabilize)
  10. Strategic change management (business transformation such as mergers, divestitures and internal eorganizations)

 Source: Corporate Executive Board, Risk Tracker, November/December 2010 (pdf) 

Moreover, the CEB folks have identified four "emerging risks" on the more-distant horizon: Wikileaks-style disclosures of corporate info; foreign corruption; China's near-monopoly on rare earth minerals; and the possible breakup of the euro zone.

Now, the question is what the CIO and IT department can do to mitigate those risks. Maybe it's time to ask your business colleagues about their biggest fears (risks), and brainstorm with your staff about ways technology can help. Fraud detection systems? Beef up security to prevent leaks? Regulatory compliance? Help to keep great talent from leaving, with a talent management system? You can be a hero in the executive suite!

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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