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2024 state of risk: With a marked decrease in risk management over the last year, are we seeing a reckless backslide in an era of high risk?

by | May 31, 2024 | Public Relations

Risk abounds in the business world these days—with Ai deployments moving quickly and AI skillsets developing slowly, many companies are rolling the dice with sensitive data and infrastructural vulnerability as table stakes. That’s just one of several threats lurking out there—and given that precarious scenario, new research findings from risk, safety and insurance SaaS firm Origami Risk become even more concerning: the results reveal that despite 80 percent of respondents claiming to be either “moderately prepared or higher,” data on the hard actions being taken doesn’t support these optimistic assessments.

The firm’s third annual State of Risk report, based on its survey of 240 risk professionals from across the U.S. and Europe, finds that respondents have downgraded their assessment of the priority their organization puts on risk management by nearly a full point, from 7.45 (out of 10) to 6.69.

risk management

The report highlights that despite a volatile year characterized by geo-political tension, economic uncertainty, the acceleration of risks such as AI and climate change, and widespread supply chain disruption, the percentage of respondents who had “fully connected” risks with strategic objectives dropped by nearly one-third (32 percent), and despite significant supply chain disruption over the past year, half (52 percent) of respondents had made no changes to their supply chain.

“This year’s State of Risk report suggests that there’s an encouraging level of optimism in the risk management community,” said Earne Bentley, Origami’s Risk Division President, in a news release. “A deeper dive into the responses, however, doesn’t support this position. There has been a marked deprioritization of risk management, pulling back on technology investments, slowing of integration efforts, and stalling on supply chain improvement efforts. All of these at a time when novel risks are on the rise.”

risk management

Bentley noted: “These findings could be a result of prevailing macroeconomic pressures, a natural resetting after the massive investments we saw during the pandemic, or the need to redirect resources to other critical strategic priorities. But with so many indicators all pointing toward a backslide from the hard-earned gains made after the pandemic, overconfidence and complacency appear creeping in when the risk environment demands agility and foresight.”

risk management

The report also identifies several potential ‘blind spots’ that could prevent risk managers from leveling up to meet tomorrow’s challenges head-on. For example, only 20 percent of risk leaders identified geo-political risk as one of their top two concerns. As 2024 will see over 50 countries head into critical elections, political instability could be a significant yet under-prioritized risk across the next 12 months and beyond. Fifty percent more [than 2023] respondents in the 2024 survey felt that supply chain risk has remained the same over the past year, despite well-reported disruptions in global supply chains caused by geo-political conflict.

risk management

Bentley concluded: “The risk management community has risen admirably to recent challenges. With tomorrow’s challenges right around the corner, those who can apply past learnings to novel risk and embrace the technology available to empower them will thrive.”

Download the full report here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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