What would your business do if your mainframe crashed? How would you handle a major breach of internet security? Living with computers means living with risk, but that doesn't mean you can't act proactively. Risk management is the science of discovering risks to your company and preventing them before they even occur.
What Is the Risk?
A "risk" is any potential threat to your company. When it comes to information technology, risk management means identifying threats to your computer systems, including hardware, software, and any information or data stored in the systems. From power surges to break-ins, every system is at risk.
Are All Businesses At Risk?
Virtually all businesses use technology in some context, and therefore are at risk for the many complications that can occur. No computer is entirely secure or entirely foolproof. A software engineer with experience in risk management can evaluate your particular system and identify areas that require risk management. Unfortunately, being without a risk management plan means being unprepared for the inevitable.
What Is the Process?
Whether you realize it or not, you already go through the process every day. If it looks like it might rain, for example, you may bring an umbrella to work or wear a waterproof jacket. Risk management for information technology operates under the same basic principle. First, the threats (in the example, rain) are identified. The likelihood is assessed, as is the estimated impact. In the end, steps are taken to mitigate the damage, especially if the event will have more severe consequences. If the threat can be totally eliminated, this is the best choice. The usual ways of dealing with or eliminating threats to a technology system is a combination of software solutions, hardware, and new practices.
Does the process sound simple enough? Unfortunately, it is deceptively so. Too often, companies attempt to perform risk management in house and end up unprotected from some very devastating realities. The fact is, few companies can afford to recruit, hire, and retain an employee with solid experience in risk management as well as the ability to develop software solutions. For businesses without these resources, outsourcing is the answer. As an added benefit, a consultant has no vested interest in your business and can make recommendations without concerns for politics and office dynamics.
Because this is such a huge part of long term organizational success, it's important to find the right person, which usually means outsourcing. Not only will you get a great employee at an even better price, you will get the impartial, expert opinion you need with little investment of time and no long term commitment. In this economy, that alone makes it worth a try.
Risk is a part of life, and risk management makes that risk easier to live with. Are you tired of waiting for trouble to find you? If so, technology consulting with a software engineer should help you get the custom software solutions you need to feel good about your business's future. Risk management is the science of preparing for the future, a science no one can be without in a world where nothing is certain.