Your Digital Risk could be a wrecking ball to the business

Talking Tech

2 June 2016

If you’re thinking technology risk management will magically happen, you’re $%^&ed!  Digital technology is disrupting business delivery, business economics and whole industries.

De-risking digital strategy is a whole-of-business concern that needs ongoing attention at board level and across the C-suite – not abdication of responsibility to the CIO.  In the face of increasingly disruptive change, strong capability to innovate across organisations is becoming critical to maintaining business performance and avoiding #epic #fails.

We’ve been de-risking digital business systems since Y2K reared its head in the mid 1990s.  Since then we’ve seen lots of #epic #fails – and helped diagnose and repair them.  Again and again, the issues haven’t been with the fundamental technology – they’ve been in communication, understanding, complexity, duplication, context and organisational inertia.

Doing nothing is negligent

The last 5 years has seen a quantum leap in the importance of digital technology to business strategy and massive new demands for deep digital resilience.

Systems don’t just support business these days– they drive them.  Gone are the days when a system failure was a ‘nuisance’.  At the same time that internal dependence is multiplying, destructive outside forces are thriving.

  • Individual malice / activism – from back room hackers to anonymous; from Wiki-leaks to the Panama Papers.
  • Subterranean forces are reshaping whole markets, from Uber to Tesla to Google self-driving cars.

Digital risk levels have exploded and de-risking business systems has moved from “compliance” to “critical”.

If de-risking digital strategy isn’t on the agenda in your C-Suite and Boardroom, you’re negligent. Your job and career are on the line – whether you know it or not.

1. Digital Transformation is Accelerating – and  Multiplying Business Risk

Once upon a time, the failure of an IT system was a problem, but (usually) not a terminal business catastrophe. Today, digital ignorance threatens not only businesses but whole industries.  It’s a board-level issue that requires boards to understand digital transformation.

What is the real level of your digital business risk?

 

2. Digital Transformation Has Made IT Crucial to Business Strategy

Today, technology shifts aren’t just changing production processes – they’re enabling radically different economic models.  Music has moved from vinyl to Spotify and from hi-fi to smartphone, radically changing what is delivered and how.  More is coming – and faster.

Do you have the right digital brains doing the right strategy and resilience planning across the business?

 

3.    C-Suite and Boards Must Understand the Strategic Risks of Digital Transformation

In this environment, technology and digital strategy can’t be abdicated to operations – these levels of strategic threats and opportunities need to be understood and managed in the C-suite and at Board level.

Software and systems quality are massive business risks requiring active, informed management at C-Suite and Board levels.

What are your board and C-suite doing to make sure your digital strategy is de-risked?

 

4.    Whole Business Digital Literacy is Critical

New development processes and methodologies have been implemented over the last decade to manage and control digital risk.  Agile, Lean, Design Thinking and related approaches are moving into the mainstream.  They require new levels of digital literacy and capability across the organisation – not just in IT.

Is digital literacy in the mix with diversity, OHS and sustainability?

 

5.    The Biggest Risk is to Do Nothing / Wait and See Will Kill You

The world is moving so fast that there’s no such thing as standing still – doing nothing is going backwards.  Last year’s expensive, leading edge ERP implementation risks being next year’s legacy system.

Are you waiting to see what your competitors are up to or what the industry is doing?

Are You a Zombie CEO?

Is your business “just like a prison for the walking dead” (Jeff Buckley – Eternal Life)

Do you really know that you’ve got the necessary digital resilience to survive through the next decade?   Is your fear of external pressures overriding the concerns of the engine room?

Digital Transformation is taking place whether you like it or not – your mission is to transform at the right pace and in the right way (and it’s not a mission you can refuse).

“Wait and see” won’t cut it anymore – you need to knock down the walls and let some light in.  Ask the hard questions – they may be a wrecking ball that destroys your illusion of security – but they’ll probably keep your job, your career and your company in one piece.

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