College of Economic & Management Sciences

Caught flat-footed by a pandemic

The unpreparedness of governments and organisations around the world to deal with the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the need for better decision-making, enhanced forecasting, improved planning and advanced risk management, argued speakers at a virtual webinar hosted by the Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking in Unisa’s College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS).

Jannie Els, the CEO of Apeiros Intelligence and a data and analytics strategist, and Nicky Downing, CEO and founder of Guideline Biztech, were the speakers at the department’s first virtual seminar. It was hosted in collaboration with RUBIQ, a governance, risk and compliance (GRC) management system, and the Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA).

In light of the Covid-19 epidemic, the topic focused on the state of maturity of operational risk management and making risk-based decisions under pressure. Various risk management practitioners from the public and private sectors attended the webinar.

The presentations focused on the fact that we are unfortunately still living in a world of siloed management and generally low maturity levels when it comes to an organisational approach to integrated data management and governance, risk and compliance practices.

Over the last 24 months, we have seen the accelerated emergence of risks relating to cyber breaches, data privacy failures, and the impact of new and disruptive technologies. 2020 sees the addition of a worldwide pandemic to the mix, making it a year that most individuals and organisations will never forget.

The speakers also stressed that the Cpvid-19 pandemic has been ruthless in its impact on almost every facet of life and the way we do business. The unpreparedness of governments and organisations around the world to deal with the crisis has highlighted the need for better decision-making, enhanced forecasting, improved planning and advanced risk management.

The webinar achieved the following objectives:

  • To share current experiences in operational risk relating to risk maturity concerning risk information and decisions.
  • To contribute and expand the existing network of operational risk practitioners.
  • To identify realistic and current topics relating to operational risk management - this can be escalated to academics and students for research purposes.

* By Suné Maré, Lecturer, Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking

Publish date: 2020/09/19