Risk management’s pandemic response – 5 key learnings

Sword GRC Blog

Risk management’s pandemic response - 5 key learnings

In December 2020, the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) conducted the second of its Risk Management Response to Covid-19 surveys, looking into the impact of the pandemic on the risk management profession, with some interesting results. We have extracted five key findings for you below and the full survey results may be viewed here.

At the end of this blog post you’ll find a link to Sword GRC’s own short survey, ‘Exploring the role of risk management in a post-pandemic world.’ It will only take a couple of minutes to complete; we would love to get your views and you could win a 100 Amazon voucher for participating.

IRM ‘Risk Management Response to Covid-19 Survey’ results

After initially surveying its members and the wider risk community at the end of April 2020 at the height of the first ‘wave’ in the UK, the IRM rolled out a follow-up ‘Risk Management Response to Covid-19’ survey in December 2020 and January 2021. The survey results revealed:

  1. Key activities for firms were stated as strengthening business continuity management processes, promoting organizational resilience, and a rapid transformation to risk-based decision making.
  2. 28% of risk professionals expected the changes to their roles as a result of Covid-19 to be permanent.
  3. 55% of firms were reviewing their risk appetites as a result of the pandemic.
  4. Greater focus on building operational resilience was the highest pandemic-driven change in risk management for 93% of respondents, followed by a greater board-level interest in strategic risks at 86% and integration of business continuity planning into ERM at 78%.
  1. 96% of respondents felt that the case for risk management was strengthened by the pandemic experience. 56% expected their risk management budgets to increase.

It was to be noted that the sectors arguably worst affected by the pandemic such as hospitality, arts and entertainment were relatively under-represented in the survey responses, “whereas financial services forms which appear to have been better prepared for the crisis and had a smoother path through it represent 38% of responses.”

Iain Wright CFIRM, IRM Chair said in his foreword, “Our survey respondents anticipate that there will be a steady increase in spending on risk management going forward, organizations now being very much aware of the value of risk management competency and of organizational resilience. This is particularly important in light of other risks that must not be allowed to slip out of focus as we respond to the pandemic: climate change, cyber risk, mental health issues, etc., are all still there.”

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We’re keen to hear how your business navigated the crisis. Did risk management stand you in good stead or did you identify gaps in your risk response? Please take just a couple of minutes to complete Sword GRC’s short survey and you could win a £100 Amazon voucher. Thank you and good luck!

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