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Managing risk through better information management

By Contributor, Fri 29 Oct 2021

Article by M-Files alliance & partner manager for A/NZ Chris Smith.
 

Managing risk has become more complex as organisations grapple with new remote working demands, increased security threats, and ever-growing amounts of data. This has created a need to transform the risk management function by using creative and powerful technology solutions.

To effectively manage risk, organisations need a comprehensive view of information and data. Risk managers need to know the data they’re working with is accurate, correct, and up to date, with no concerns around version control or security. They need to use this data to identify and remediate risks to the business, so this data must be easy to access in a timely fashion.

Simply identifying risks, threats, and opportunities can be challenging for organisations without full control over their data. The sheer volume of information can exacerbate this challenge, especially where critical information resides in information silos such as legacy systems, shared drives, and email inboxes.

When organisations can’t quickly access critical information, they can end up making decisions that, while not disastrous, could potentially have been better. Incomplete or inaccurate data can lead to inferior decisions. By contrast, when data is integrated across systems, organisations can act smarter and faster.

Many business leaders aren’t aware of the shortcomings in their information management systems or that the data they’re basing decisions on isn’t complete. Therefore, the first step in managing risk more effectively is to understand where information management systems can improve.

One key area is in leveraging data from various sources. Organisations have a wealth of internal data; however, they should also gather and analyse external data for a more rounded picture of risk. This data can include information on consumer sentiment, climate change, or legislation, for example. Armed with a more holistic perspective, risk managers can start to make decisions that empower the business to move forward with confidence.

Businesses need to employ intelligent search capabilities to discover and use the right data at the right time. Consolidating data into a fully searchable environment with contextual results can let risk managers securely analyse and share information and collaborate on business exposure.

A valuable way to collaborate is through creating risk hubs that let risk teams securely share data. This data can be used to plan, run what-if scenarios, and respond to future events more effectively. For this decision-making to be reliable, it’s essential to use factual, vetted, and real-time (or near-real time) data. A risk hub lets internal and external stakeholders work together to transform risk management.

The recent coronavirus pandemic threw a spotlight onto the need for effective risk management and planning. Many organisations weren’t ready for lockdowns, social distancing, and contact tracing measures. 

Businesses that could pivot quickly to secure remote working were best placed to weather the storm; with an uncertain future, effective risk management based on intelligent information management is utterly essential for organisations to thrive.

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