Risk management lagging in digital world

Two thirds of CIOs believe their risk management strategies are failing to keep up with new threats created by the shift to digital, a Gartner survey has found.

Gartner's 2015 CIO Agenda report asked 2,810 CIOs in 84 countries how they adapt their leadership to ensure their enterprises survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world. 66 per cent of respondents in Australia and New Zealand indicated that risk management is not keeping up with these new challenges.

This is despite 84 per cent of respondents in Australia and New Zealand saying that having the agility to deal with unexpected risks is crucial.

Nine out of 10 CIOs believe the shift to digital is creating new and higher levels of risk (93 per cent of CIOs in Australia and New Zealand, compared with 89 per cent worldwide).

“CIOs should consider putting risk management as a key improvement area in their performance plan for themselves and for their teams for 2015,” the report said. “The measure of success is how well the team responds to risk (that is, resilience), not how well the team prevents things from happening.”

The report recommended that CIOs concerned about risk agility should educate executives by sharing articles that discuss digital disruption and outlining potentially business risks, along with revenue opportunities.

When discussing leadership in general, 75 per cent of ANZ CIOs recognised the need to adapt their leadership style from "control" to "visionary" in the next three years.

"Incrementally improving IT performance isn't enough to grasp the digital opportunity," said Gartner vice president, Andy Rowsell-Jones. "CIOs need to 'flip' from legacy to digital in terms of information and technology leadership, value leadership and people leadership."

The Gartner survey also found IT budgets are changing globally, with an increase of three per cent on average for Asia/Pacific CIOs - significantly higher than the expected global average of less than one percent.

Individually, CIOs in Australia, New Zealand and Japan will face a decline in their IT budgets, whereas North Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea) will experience an impressive increase of 10.3 per cent.

Respondents also revealed technology priorities for 2015, with business intelligence and analytics topping the list for ANZ, followed by cloud and mobile, which is matched by CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region, but differs from their peers in the other countries who are more focused on infrastructure and ERP.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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