IT GovernanceRisk Management

Why IT pros need to understand risk management

The idea of risk management is relatively easy: identify things that can slow or stop your projects, eliminate them, and learn from the ones that get past you. But as this post from VentureBeat explains, the idea of risk management and the actual application of risk management are very separate things. In IT, it's essential that even the superstars of the organization make sure they have a clear understanding of what risk management means to their organization- whether it's preparedness for big events or just the everyday annoyances: IT managers jokingly complain that their departments often get blamed for everything that goes wrong. The stark, modern reality is, however, that infrastructure deployed and maintained by technical professionals is now actively responsible for supporting most business-critical services in just about every industry. This puts IT managers in the mostly unenviable and sometimes untenable position of having to understand nearly every aspect of the businesses they support. Even the failure of seemingly simple services such as e-mail can have wide-ranging effects across multiple departments. Sales staff may not be able to process an urgent order from a customer. The purchasing department may not receive notification of a shipping delay. A production manager may be unable to request an emergency meeting. IT Managers will only be as effective in risk management as they are at recognizing how heavily different areas of the corporation are affected if something goes wrong in IT, and being able to articulate that importance is what will keep IT present in board room meetings and able to gain the budget needed to successfully develop risk management plans.

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