Risk Management as a qualification discipline gets more recognition with COVID19 pandemic

A multi-country survey by UK-basedInstitute of Risk Management (IRM-UK) on expected lines has found that most organizations have woken up to risk management with the current Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, According to the survey, 32% of organisations said they had not considered a pandemic risk or anything similar before the current global COVID-19 pandemic, and one-fifth of organisations who had considered the pandemic risk did not take any actions about it.

 ‘’The pandemic has taught us that organisations everywhere need to get better at improving their resilience and dealing with strategic risks. This is a vital set of skills that firms and individuals everywhere must have to recover successfully, protect their people and investments and prepare themselves for the future,’ saidCarolyn Williams, IRM’s Director of Corporate Relations and member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Institute of Risk Management – India Affiliate.

Organisations have experienced short term impacts like rapid change in objectives and ways of working, delays in projects, significant distractions from key objectives, loss of revenue, delays in decision making, and cyber security concerns. Apart from this, Cyber, natural disasters, geopolitical, next pandemic, supply chain disruption, climate change, people issues, were some of the ‘high impacts, low probability’ risks that the survey participants thought are being neglected. 

On being asked about how satisfied they were with the way crisis management and business continuity actions have been dealt within the first few weeks of the current pandemic, about 82% affirmed they were satisfied with their organisation’s initial response. The survey also pointed out that 86% of organisations set up a crisis management group to manage the crisis during the existing pandemic. 80% said technology was a major or significant factor helping them respond and offer the support that the risk functions gives the business.

Forty three percent of people are providing risk advice concerning crisis decision making when asked if there has been a change in their risk management role as a result of the pandemic. On being asked about how likely there would be changes in the field of risk management as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 92% predicted a greater focus on operational resilience.

The participants of the survey were from countries like UK, India, Africa, Middle-East, USA, Canada, South America, Australia, other European and Asian countries from across sectors like Finance, Banking, Insurance, Construction and Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Healthcare, etc.

“These are times when risk and crisis management education is of paramount importance where creating an overall risk based culture will help in better managing the constantly evolving external environment, help in taking proactive steps, and even plan strategically for the future. The experience of this pandemic will last for long and encourage more organisations including startups and SMEs to develop robust risk management teams.” said. Hersh Shah, CEO, GLECO – Institute of Risk Management (UK) – India Affiliate