Pandemic continues to define business strategies and risk

Clive Thompson, CFIRM, technical director, IRM warns businesses have to be braced for a tough start to 2022 as the pandemic will continue to impact the ability to do business.

2022 will get off to a difficult, but not entirely unexpected, start. Many countries are sadly (but necessarily) back into heightened/lockdown measures due to the pandemic and Omicron, the new strain of the virus – but with the booster vaccine rollout under way we hope for a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The world has changed as we know it. Organisations have had to adapt to survive and ways of working are more reliant on technology than ever as many staff return to work from home.

Organisations are facing increased and increasing risks from both internal and external factors that have undoubtedly been exacerbated by Covid-19, including: people risk (mental health, wellbeing, physical health of staff), increased cyber-attacks, supply chain disruption and ongoing market confidence/volatility across sectors, which is exacerbated by geopolitical volatility in some areas. In the UK the post-Brexit landscape has changed how people and goods move between the UK and mainland Europe. This will undoubtedly be keeping those of you dealing with supply chains busy as you navigate the new ways of working and ensure business continuation.

The IRM has set up a SIG for pandemic risk, details of which can be found on our website. Risk professionals have never been so busy and pivotal to the survival of organisations of all types globally; risk management has been at the heart of the global response and our profession is firmly in the spotlight. Risk managers’ competence and resilience have been tested like never before and lessons have undoubtedly been learnt.

Over the last year managing risk has been at the forefront of business leaders’ minds, and as we enter into 2022 the Covid-19 crisis remains as key driver as do the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues that will impact an organisation’s resilience. Never before have these issues been so pressing to ensure the survival of our planet and risk managers across all sectors globally will be at the heart of leading the response.

The IRM has a unique opportunity to use its outstanding expertise in risk management to strengthen the role of professionally qualified risk managers in addressing future risks, and as the pre-eminent global risk management institute, is ideally placed to champion the debate about the skills and risk management approaches that risk professionals and organisations need to succeed.

Enrolments for our world-leading ERM Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management (and Financial Services, Supply Chain and Digital Certificates) are closing on the 31 December; make sure you and your staff are armed with the skills and knowledge to tackle the issues outlined above.

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