The Corporate Executive Board’s “Risk Integration Strategy Council (RISC)” has released the January 2011 “Emerging Risks Update,” (pdf) noting the following risks on the horizon for enterprise risk managers:
Leaks of sensitive corporate information like strategic planning documents or embarrassing memos (think Wikileaks, which is on its way to becoming a verb, like Google). Strategy: Bolster information security, especially as “new technologies and platforms like cloud computing, SaaS, and social networking gain prominence.”
Shortage of rare earth minerals, an essential component of clean energy technology, computers and electronics (e.g., mobile phones). China controls 97%. Strategy: Other countries (including the U.S.) with deposits of rare earth minerals can open or re-open their mines, “but it can take up to  years for a new mine to begin operations.” Meanwhile, “world leaders” must discourage China from unfairly exploiting its position. Continue reading “Four emerging risks for corporations”
You know how generals tend to prepare to fight the last war. It appears that chief financial officers (CFO) worry about a repeat of the most recent disasters but have trouble identifying future risks. The risks that CFOs say will be their greatest concerns over the next five years — financial meltdowns and supply-chain disruptions — are the disasters that have happened in the last few years, according to an article and survey by CFO magazine.
Top risks identified by 168 senior finance executives
- Financial exposure (51%)
- Supply-chain/logistics disruption (37%)
- Legal liability/reputational harm (35%)
- Technology failure (33%)
- Security breach (23%)
Multiple responses allowed.
Source: CFO Research Services and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., June 2010
“The research suggests that many companies would benefit from a more forward-looking approach to managing risk,” the article says Continue reading “What CFOs worry about”
The top external concerns of U.S. CFOs:
- Consumer demand
- Credit markets & interest rates
- Housing-market fallout
- Cost of fuel
- Cost of nonfuel commodities
Top internal, company-specific concerns:
- Cost & availability of labor [nonfinance]
- Ability to forecast results
- Cost of health care
- Supply-chain risk
- Data security
Source: Duke University/CFO magazine survey of 475 U.S. CFOs, May 2008
June 2007 (previous post) What CFOs worry about
Most companies fail at forecasting earnings
CFOs predict: The top business risks through 2009
Government contractors are whipping up a slew of quasi-military technologies for “homeland security” purposes, such as the following:
- License plate recognition systems — infrared cameras that quickly match images to police databases — already are stopping criminals in cars in New York City, the District of Columbia and 23 states.
- New satellites that can daily collect up to 750,000 square kilometers of imagery, allowing analysts to pick out suitcase-sized objects.
- Biometric scanning devices that can read fingerprints from about five meters away — all 10 prints.
- Under development: The remote-controlled “nano air vehicle,” which resembles the seed of a silver maple tree, can be outfitted with a payload the size of an aspirin. For example, it can be used for chemical or biological detection. Or, swarms of the winged devices could fly over a disaster area to detect signs of survivors.
Source: Reuters, via The Boston Globe (21 September 2007)