In the past week I have read two different reports on the major risks facing the international business community in 2012.
The two reports are;
The two reports reflect some different risks, and certainly convey very different scopes and perspectives. This should not be a surprise given the nature of the different organisations publishing the reports, and I am guessing, the position and perspective of those who contributed. I find myself wondering –
Which of these reports will have more credibility with Executives?
Actually I didn’t wonder about that for more than 2 seconds!
The Global Risks 2012 report identifies risk in 5 categories and they define a “Centre of Gravity” risk in each category. These are defined as “the risks of greatest systemic importance, or the most influential and consequential in relation to others” [p13]. The categories and their Centre of Gravity are ;
- Economic – Chronic fiscal imbalance
- Geopolitical – Global governance failure
- Environmental – Rising greenhouse gas emissions
- Societal – Unsustainable population growth
- Technological – Critical systems failure
- Severe income disparity
- Major systemic financial failure
- Unforeseen negative consequences of regulation
- Extreme volatility in energy and agriculture prices.
The BCI report is a much quicker read, consisting of 6 pages of graphs with explanation on the side. It appears to be a survey of what BCM practitioners are currently concerned about, rather than a scan of what might be out there preparing to bite them on the backside.
The things that keep BCM practitioners awake at night are;
- Unplanned IT and telecom outages (74%)
- Data breach (loss and/or theft) (68%)
- Cyber Attack (65%)
- Adverse weather (59%)
- Interruption to utility supply (56%)
The findings of the BCI report are surprisingly similar across geographic regions. I am not sure exactly why there is this focus on the technology area, but ..
I guess this is the year of technological risks for BC practitioners.
More on this issue tomorrow with a deeper dive into the Technology category of the Global Risk report to see if there is any commonality between the two sets of findings.
In the interim, if anybody can point me at data on the number of companies that went under due to unplanned IT & T outages that would be appreciated.
One important attribute of a resilient entity is the capability to detect early signals and hopefully act on them. Horizon scanning is a useful tool, and being used in the BC area as this report on Continuity Central shows. But it needs to look outside conventional wisdom.
“The method calls for determining what is constant, what changes, and what constantly changes. It explores novel and unexpected issues as well as persistent problems and trends, including matters at the margins of current thinking that challenge past assumptions.” [Source]
Unfortunately, the horizon is a bit further away than what has been surveyed here.