If you\u2019ve seen an airline in the news recently, it\u2019s probably been another story of a company brought to its knees by technology risk.\nFor businesses, technology risk is governed by one equation:\nRisk = Likelihood x Impact\u00a0\nThis means that the total amount of risk exposure is the probability of an unfortunate event occurring, multiplied by the potential impact or damage incurred by the event. If you put a dollar value on the impact, then you can value the risk and in a simple way compare one risk factor to another.\nIs the Risk Equation an oversimplification? Sure. But it does provide several useful insights and pinpoints two basic ways to mitigate risk.\u00a0 The first is to reduce the likelihood of unexpected events. The second is to lower their impact on the business.\nBut \u201cImpact\u201d is going up! If you\u2019re a CIO, the problem here is that the impact of technology is increasing, so technology risk is also increasing.\u00a0 When the right hand side increases, the left hand side increases.\nSaid another way, technology benefits and deployments have been rising, but so have dependency and risk. Digital technology has never played a more important role in business execution, and nearly every business process is dependent on one or more enterprise systems. Today the Office of the CIO is vital to nearly every process. And as we\u2019ve learned from Delta to Starbucks, when technology glitches occur, business comes to a grinding halt.\nLet\u2019s face it. The Impact term in the equation will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Mobile, cloud, big data, and new digital platforms are here to stay and the pace of change and innovation is only likely to accelerate. That\u2019s because they offer such enormous potential for businesses. Impact will grow and there\u2019s nothing you can do about it.\nThe only lever for the CIO is to lower \u201cLikelihood.\u201d The Risk Equation makes it very clear. To lower risk, the best and only lever is to reduce the likelihood of unexpected events, software glitches, and project failures. Fortunately, much of this is within the CIO\u2019s direct control.\nCheck everything, all night, every night. \u00a0There\u2019s really only one way to be sure that every application and process is ready for business in the morning.\u00a0 You (and your team) need to test it. \u00a0High speed functional test automation makes it possible to check every process and app on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. That could mean validating 500,000 process steps daily! As highlighted in a new IDC report, top firms are already applying high speed business process testing for SAP, web applications, mobile and much more, so it\u2019s no longer a new approach.\nFix it fast. If a defect is found overnight or a function is not working as it should, your team can fix it immediately \u2013 before a flight or a cup of coffee is impacted.\nWith automation, you\u2019ll see benefits in months, but full deployment can take two to three years for a complex global enterprise. I won\u2019t kid you.\u00a0 Guaranteeing end-to-end business process quality isn\u2019t easy and it takes a long-term commitment.\u00a0 But companies are doing it.\nManaging enterprise systems doesn\u2019t mean you have to accept unnecessary risk to your end-to-end processes. With high velocity test automation it\u2019s possible to lower risk and the likelihood of unexpected events, even as you deploy more advanced technology and cut costs.\nYou can\u2019t eliminate technology risk altogether. But with the right plan, specialized expertise, 24\/7 automation, and a commitment to long term success, you can minimize it. The math is simple.