CIOs need to be part of political risk management

Amid rising threats of state backed cyber-attacks chief information officers have been told they have to be at the heart of their firm’s management strategies around political risks.

Gartner has warned that technology governance issues emanating from cross-country politics have led to digital geopolitics rapidly becoming an issue for multinational CIOs.

It added 41% of Boards of Directors view geopolitical power shifts and turbulence as one of the biggest risks to performance, according to a survey undertaken by the firm. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 70% of multinational enterprises will adjust the countries in which they operate by hedging to reduce their geopolitical exposure.

“Digital geopolitics is now one of the most disruptive trends that CIOs must address, with many now dealing with trade disputes, legislation coming from one country that impacts global operations, and government imposed restrictions on the acquisition and use of digital technology,” said Brian Prentice, vice president analyst and Gartner fellow. “They need to get acquainted with this new reality and prepare for its impact.”

“Geopolitics describes the geographic influences on power relationships in international relations. The resulting competition between nations plays out in many areas, including economic, military and society,” added Gartner. “Due to the increasing importance that digital technology plays in each of these areas, digital geopolitics is emerging as its own unique category of impact.”

Gartner’s warnings have been backed by Jay Reilly, SVP EMEA at Precisely.

“CIOs that are striving to reduce their geopolitical exposure amid worsening tensions need to ensure they are making the right decisions,” he said. “However, business intelligence is only as good as the data it is fuelled by, so it’s fast becoming an imperative for businesses to ensure data is accurate, consistent, and contextual – or in other words, has integrity. When high-stakes decisions affecting enterprises’ entire physical or digital supply chains are informed by data, the consequences of a lack of data integrity can be significant.”

“In this era, where enterprises may be required to make rapid changes to their operations amid supply chain disruptions, there is an even greater need to ensure that confident decisions can be made based on trusted data,” Reilly added. “After all, in times of uncertainty there is less margin for error. Employing a data integrity strategy that combines data integration, data quality and governance, location intelligence, and data enrichment will therefore serve a vital function, enabling businesses to accelerate confident decision-making, move fast and reduce costs, manage risk, and comply with complex constantly evolving regulations. This will be crucial to ensure the success of any new initiatives that are geared towards business continuity during geopolitical tensions.”