The pandemic has shed light on how fast the world can change in a short amount of time. As a result, organizations and their vendors need to be able to adapt their strategic plans to accommodate risk on an unprecedented level. New research from IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group stresses that other unexpected global changes may impact an organization’s strategy at any given time, so plans should be flexible enough to manage the inevitable consequences, and helps organizations in building adaptive resiliency into their strategic plans.
“Pandemics, extreme weather, and wars that affect global supply chains are a current reality, not unlikely scenarios,” said Frank Sewell, research director of vendor management at Info-Tech Research Group, in a news release. “Like most people, organizations are poor at assessing the likelihood of risk. As a result, almost none realistically plan to monitor, manage, and adapt their strategies to those risks.”
The IT market is constantly reacting to global influences. By anticipating risks, leaders can set expectations and work with their vendors to accommodate changes. When the unexpected happens, being able to adapt quickly to new priorities ensures continued long-term business success. In terms of the unforeseen events that have occurred in the past few years, Info-Tech’s 2022 Tech Trends survey found the following data points:
- 62 percent of IT professionals are more concerned about being a victim of ransomware now than they were a year ago.
- 82 percent of Microsoft non-essential employees shifted to working from home in 2020, joining the 18 percent already working remotely.
- 89 percent of organizations invested in web conferencing technology to facilitate collaboration.
“If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that the probability of a risk occurring is far more flexible in the formula ‘Risk = Likelihood x Impact’ than we ever thought possible,” added Sewell. “The impacts of these risks can be catastrophic, and organizations must be more adaptive in managing them to strengthen their strategic plans.”
Strategic risk impacts are often unanticipated, causing unforeseen downstream effects. Anticipating the potential changes in the global IT market and continuously monitoring vendors’ risk levels can help organizations modify their strategic alignment with the new norms. IT leaders must review their strategic risk plans, considering the likelihood of incidents in the global market.
A new research blueprint outlines Info-Tech’s approach to preparing strategic risk management for success:
Review your organization’s strategy
Understand the organizational strategy to prepare for the “What If” game exercise.
Identify and understand potential strategic risks
Play the “What If” game with the right people at the table.
Create a risk profile packet for leadership
Pull all the information together in a presentation document.
Validate the risks
Work with leadership to ensure that the proposed risks are in line with their thoughts.
Plan to manage the risks
Lower the overall risk potential by implementing mitigations.
Communicate the plan
It is essential to not only have a plan but to also socialize it in the organization for awareness.
Enact the plan
Once the plan is finalized and socialized, implement and monitor it for success.
Identifying and managing a vendor’s potential strategic impact on an organization requires multiple people across several functions such as IT, HR, and executive leadership. Coaching on the possible changes in the market and how these changes affect strategic plans will also be required. According to the newly published research, organizational leadership is often taken unaware during crises, and their plans lack the flexibility needed to adjust to significant market upheavals.