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PRESS CENTRE

Lack of Understanding Around Disruptive Technologies Presents Opportunity for Risk Professionals

New York   |   April 24, 2017

Risk professionals have an opportunity to close the gap when it comes to understanding and managing rapidly advancing disruptive technology risks, according to a new report published jointly today by Marsh, a leading insurance broker and risk advisor, and RIMS, the risk management society™. Doing so, will increasingly require risk managers to play a leading role as their organizations address complex challenges and opportunities in this environment.

The 14th annual Excellence in Risk Management report finds an apparent lack of awareness among risk professionals on existing and emerging technologies, including telematics, sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), smart buildings, and robotics, and their associated risks. For example, when presented with 13 common disruptive technologies, 24% of the respondents to this year’s survey said their organizations did not currently use or plan to use any of them. This is surprising, the report notes, considering other studies have found more than 90% of companies either using or evaluating IoT technology or wearable technologies.

The report also found that despite the impact disruptive technology can have on an organization’s business strategy, model, and risk profile, a majority of respondents — 60% — said they do not conduct risk assessments around disruptive technologies.

“Today’s disruptive technologies will soon be — and in many cases already are — the norm for doing business,” said Brian Elowe, Marsh’s US client executive leader and co-author of the report. “Such lack of understanding and attention being paid to the risks is alarming. Organizations cannot fully realize the rewards of using today’s innovative technology if the risks are not fully understood and managed.”

Such lack of clarity brings opportunity for risk professionals, the report notes. As previous Excellence studies have shown, C-suite executives and boards of directors want to know what risks loom ahead for their organizations and are increasingly relying on risk professionals to provide that insight.

“As organizations adapt to innovative technologies, risk professionals have the opportunity to lead the way in developing risk management capabilities and bringing insights to bear on business strategy decisions,” said Carol Fox, vp, strategic initiatives for RIMS and co-author of the report. “As a first step, risk professionals are advised to proactively educate themselves about disruptive technologies, including what is already in use at their organizations, what technologies may be on the horizon, and the respective risks and rewards of using such technology.”

The Excellence survey, Ready or Not, Disruption is Here, is based on more than 700 responses to an online survey and a series of focus groups with leading risk executives in January and February 2017.

Findings from the survey were released today at the RIMS 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition. Copies of the survey are available on www.marsh.com and www.rims.org.

About RIMS

As the preeminent organization dedicated to educating, engaging and advocating for the global risk community, RIMS, the risk management society™, is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 3,500 corporate, industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable and government entities throughout the world. RIMS has a membership of approximately 11,000 risk practitioners who are located in more than 60 countries. For more information about the Society’s world-leading risk management content, networking, professional development and certification opportunities, visit www.RIMS.org.

About Marsh

Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser. With over 35,000 colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$15 billion and 75,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.