At our recent Global Customer Conferences we asked our customers’ opinions about a whole range of issues in our Customer Survey. Most of the questions were about their experience of working with Sword Active Risk and I’m pleased to say that the results were largely very positive.


We also asked about how the importance of risk is perceived within their business, and about the biggest concerns facing the organization at the moment. The results were very interesting.


The overwhelming response is that risk has increased in profile and importance during the last five years and is moving up the corporate agenda. Our delegates tell us that it has increased in importance at 92% or organizations in the US, 81% in the UK, and 70% in the Middle East.


Unsurprisingly the biggest risks are supply chain, cyber security and geo-political issues, however, the level of concern differed across the regions. In the UK, supply chain, cyber security and funding were seen as the most significant risks being faced by companies. In the US cyber security was also seen as a major risk, along with geo-political risks, funding and physical/construction risk. In the Middle East the dramatic fall in oil prices has forced companies to look at risk management much more closely than before, with the top risks being geo-political, supply chain and physical/construction risks.


There were a few reasons given for the increased focus on risk but they all boil down to the same thing, increased awareness and education around risk. Many delegates stated that they felt there was a better understanding of risk principles both by senior management and generally across the business. As the discipline of risk management has grown so too has the profile of risk teams, with risk management now even forming part of the company vision at some organizations. Indeed, risk is now being integrated within the business planning cycles to exploit opportunity as well as to ensure risks are sufficiently mitigated.


And it is about time too! Risk management is increasingly seen as a major part of mainstream business planning. Executive boards and leadership teams around the globe are realizing that risk management has a huge part to play, not just at a project and program level, but right across the enterprise. If large organizations are to successfully navigate today’s complex trading conditions it is vital that every part of their corporate risk policy is aligned to corporate strategy.


It is important to remind ourselves every now and again, that risk has come a long way, it is gaining mainstream acknowledgement, however, we still have a way to go. At Sword Active Risk we are dedicated to empowering organizations to manage risk at project, program and enterprise level, and we are always keen to hear how we can help.


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