Today’s workshop on Using Technology To Gain Competitive Advantage Through Risk Management aims to explore and link:

  • The most important sources of competitive advantage and/or business benefit from risk management
  • Which aspects of IT software functionality are most likely to deliver those benefits.

Chairman Anthony Oakley, Willis, and presenters Clive Thomson, Willis, and Steve Charters, Etimos, will be collecting the views of those attending on what they see as the most significant benefits of technology to risk management. "These can be varied and we classify them by whether these benefits are based on process performance, risk handling or actual outcomes," says Thomson. This workshop will then investigate the functionality available from IT solutions and identify which types of benefit they address.

Business benefits can range from basic process performance measures through to tangible business outcomes or results, say Willis. Unfortunately there is often a big gap between performing the risk process well and demonstrating that those actions led to an improved outcome. As an example, debate is still continuing about whether the effort spent on avoiding the consequences of the ‘millennium bug’ actually was worthwhile, some arguing that the problem was much less significant than was assumed at the time.

The concept of ‘risk handling’, introduced by the Office of Government and Commerce (OGC), helps fill the gap between risk process performance and tangible outcomes. It focuses on the outputs from the process and how these are used in making decisions.