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Part of digital transformation is learning to be a better risk manager

BY BARBARA KAY

Every day, each of us manages risk in many contexts: our physical safety (driving), ROI (purchasing a new appliance), consequences of decisions (job search). We make countless other risk-based decisions unconsciously: “Cross the street? Not yet—that car’s coming too fast!” When it comes to our own health, the COVID-19 crisis has been a 24/7 reminder of the same idea.

While we are constantly working to stay on top of tangible threats and risks we’re aware of, it’s easy to forget how everything around us—and on our person—is connected in our risk management ecosystem. The products inside these activities—websites, cars, appliances, job search tools—have been and will continue to be reinvented, or “digitally transformed,” bringing us better connected services, experiences and innovations—and new avenues for potential threats or mistakes.

Let’s face it, digital transformation was already necessary for most businesses, based on competitive pressures. Now, it is a necessity for many as the pandemic causes turmoil in business models, revenue streams, workforces, and supply chains. With remote work and distance learning as the new normal, it is both important and timely for all of us to become risk-literate. As individuals and professionals, we can ensure we’re upholding best practices at home and protecting our organizations from potential harm.

To do that, we need to identify what risks we face, understand how they might affect us, and know what we can do to make and support risk-informed decisions. Adopting this risk-savvy mindset will help us reap the benefits of transformation, while minimizing the pitfalls of everyday risks we may not even know we—and our organizations—are exposed to.

Everyone should get comfortable with topics like privacy, cyber, and reputational risk at a practical level. Digital Transformation and Risk for Dummies, an e-book published by ServiceNow and Wiley, can help you get started understanding the impact of digital risk.

As employees, we contribute daily to risk management, considering risk as we act and acting when we see a risk. It’s why we as employees go through yearly risk, compliance, and security training—risk-informed decisions are critical to keeping our orgs safe.

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