Posted on: June 5, 2019 by Mike Geier
Up-to-date and accurate information is mission-critical for risk management. It was also next to impossible to achieve when Excel, Word, and SharePoint were the industry-standard tools, since documents became outdated almost as soon as they are created. The situation improved with the evolution of solutions such as business continuity software, crisis management programs, emergency notification applications, and the like. These tools often use automation to collect and update data on an ongoing basis.
Unfortunately, solutions all too often exist in silos sectioned off from one another. These walls prevent businesses from leveraging automation to collect, distribute, and analyze information from an end-to-end risk management perspective. This poses a barrier to top-level planning, management, recoverability, and resiliency.
Digital transformation is essential to integrate the full suite of risk management tools and allow automation to thrive across all areas of risk. Consider the following benefits of end-to-end automation:
- Information can be entered once and applied in multiple areas. People become irritated if they are asked to provide the same information time and again for various risk management functions. But if risk management systems are integrated through digital transformation, people’s expertise can be solicited once and applied seamlessly across systems, greatly increasing operational efficiencies and ensuring data accuracy.
- Huge and cumbersome once-a-year updates disappear. Massive updates that require the tedious manual review of global information to check for needed changes are eliminated with digital transformation. They are replaced with automated self-checks where the system regularly evaluates existing data across risk domains to identify where updates need to be made and then collects or solicits that information directly or sends an alert about the required update. Automated workflows and approval processes also serve to keep information accurate and up to date year-round.
- Enterprise-level reporting is made easy. If risk management tools and systems are siloed, global reporting is a challenge. With full integration, reports can be run instantly that provide the data and insight necessary to make strategic decisions about risk management, resource deployment, and organizational resiliency.
- Gaps that represent risk can be readily identified. It is very difficult for risk management personnel to detect missing, improper, or inadequate recovery strategies when faced with hundreds of different departments, functions, and applications. An integrated risk management system can do so automatically. It can not only identify gaps, but can also prioritize and locate where greater risks exist. For example, the system can differentiate between a critical business process that has gaps in its recovery capabilities and a lower-tier service based on the connectedness of the data.
Ultimately, digital transformation opens the door for automation that fundamentally changes how companies collect, manage, use, and act upon data. This automation enables businesses to work from a common operating picture, strengthen recovery strategies, and respond quickly and confidently to any crisis or incident.