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Risk, as a Business Enabler By @ABridgwater | @BigDataExpo [#BigData]

Business trends in Big Data analytics makes many aspects of our business operational mechanics easier to track

For most C-level executives (and most of the rest of the planet too), the concept of ‘risk' is generally first perceived as a negative. The notion of risk as a business positive (or a ‘business enabler' even) is fanciful, flaky and fraught with fallibility - isn't it?

This proposition is not as feeble as it sounds and there are a number of reasons why this is so.

All the Qs
First, let's be essentially mathematical about this for a minute. If John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Adam Smith or (insert your favorite economics guru here) have taught us anything, it is that business should be about measurement.

If we can achieve qualitative and quantitative measures of all dynamic business variables with quality data - then we can start to build an accurate economic model for a firm to exist inside of. We start to own risk and be able to identify it, if not altogether control it.

If we can achieve qualitative and quantitative measures of all dynamic business variables with quality data - then we can start to build an accurate economic model for any firm.

Tough business trends
Some business trends will always be harder to track. Some elements of BYOD and mobile device usage and the unstructured data that this generates will be harder to track. Some aspects of enterprise level social media will be harder to track.

We know there will be challenges - and risk is hard to solidify here.

Tough (but getting easier) business trends
At the same time, business trends in Big Data analytics makes many aspects of our business operational mechanics easier to track. Emerging technologies in the so-called Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything) allow us to quantify and qualify what machines are doing, when they are likely to break down or require maintenance and so on.

Risk becomes easier to solidify here - although pulling off this challenge will still indeed be complex.

It comes back to security
Yes of course risk comes back to questions of security (physical and cyber) and the threats posed by malware and software code vulnerability. In the 2014 State of the CSO Study conducted by IDG Enterprise we saw the following question posed:

What should the CIO's strategy be in protecting company IP and other assets in today's mobile enterprise?

Managing security/addressing risks around mobile devices, BYOD was the number one security-related challenge in the coming year, cited by 54% of respondents in the IDG study. So we know, devices and mobile behavior pose a serious threat at many levels; this part of the argument is not going to shake any of our economic principles above any time soon.

Ah, but there's a problem...
The problem we get to pretty fast here is that in order to achieve new growth cycles and break into new markets, firms will have to embrace new approaches to digital business and many working methods and new platforms will bring with them an inherent additional risk factor. Being able to quantify that risk and then use it as a strategically measured business enabler is the challenge we all face.

For more insight here you can review the Intersection of Technology, Strategy and Risk: A Video Series at the link shown here.

KPMG says that the board in a modern business today must realize that "innovation is not a straight line" and that we have to learn to "tolerate some levels of failure" - this is risk, but risk embraced and managed.

According to KPMG, "Companies that have no tolerance for failure in the face of innovation will, in fact, probably fail."

Due care for risk
The firm says that failure to address risk today is failure to address due care - due care for employees, due care for customers and due care over a firm's own business. It's time to care about risk, strategically.

This post is sponsored by KPMG LLP and The CIO Agenda.

KPMG LLP is a Delaware limited liability partnership and is the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. The KPMG name, logo and "cutting through complexity" are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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