SINGAPORE (Sept 21): Risk professionals are essential for building trust and confidence when implementing emerging technology and digital transformation projects, suggests the findings of a recent EY poll.

Out of the 1,200 participants who attended the recent webcast entitled How can you turn digital risk into a source of competitive advantage?, 59% said the integration of risk professionals in transformation projects is essential in building trust and confidence.

All poll respondents had ongoing projects involving new or emerging technologies in the areas of digital (53%), cloud (54%), automation (40%) and advanced analytics (37%).

However, over half (57%) of those polled also indicated that the involvement of risk professionals in their ongoing transformation initiatives is either limited (40%) or missing (12%), with only 12% saying they had risk professionals fully integrated within their projects.

In a press release on Friday, EY says its poll demonstrates how organisations will need to undergo a “fundamental shift in mindset” in order to evolve from the ways they are currently managing risk and compliance, to a digitally-enabled function that delivers strategic value.

A majority 65% of respondents agreed on the need for disruption in the risk and governance function to drive strategic value, with another 31% voting for integration of all risk functions – such as health & safety, internal audit, legal and compliance – into a single approach.

According to the participants, ways of disrupting the risk function include a data-driven approach to risk monitoring, as well as implementing new & emerging risk technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

“Since organisations will only be able to pursue radical growth and value creation if they embrace risk and uncertainty, they need risk to evolve from being primarily a defensive function into a driver of strategic development,” says Amy Brachio, EY Global Advisory Risk Leader.

“Risk professionals need to take advantage of new data, new technologies, new skill sets, new structures and new ecosystems to provide robust, respected and trustworthy analysis. Risk tools, such as risk intelligence, risk models, simulation functionality, and visualization platforms, can all help boards to foresee the consequences of their decisions, facilitating better decision making, quicker innovation and greater speed to market,” she adds.