Risk is central to business

Different areas of the same business have different risk appetites. Alongside their varied business demands, this shapes attitudes to external information and to technology strategy.

Risk therefore needs to be a part of the emerging technology process at every stage. Accepting the right risk, and managing it, creates opportunity. Ignoring risk leads to shipwreck.

Established industry tools, such as the Gartner Hype Cycle, establish the level of "visibility" of an early stage technology. It's clear that enterprises should avoid the bandwagon effect. Following the crowd, whether it's to adopt or to sideline a novel technology, is not in itself a basis for strategy.

Risk criteria include the type and stability of the technology developer; the soundness of the academic research on which many novel developments are based; the response of venture capital if the vendor is a start-up; and experience of similar technologies, if any. It's easy to miss the big idea, and it's easy to be beguiled by a potential failure.

Risk appetite within the organisation varies according to the level of regulatory oversight, the return from short-term quick wins, and the acceptability or otherwise of a shifting landscape of innovative implementations. The people who make up the organisation are a significant contributory factor too.

How do you identify and assess the risk factors, and balance them? Get in touch!

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