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The Importance of Risk Management to a Business

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The Importance of Risk Management to a Business
All organizations encounter uncertain events when trying to achieve their objectives. These uncertain events may arise inside or outside the organization. Each individual uncertain event that would impact one or more objectives is known as a risk. If the risk would have a negative impact on the business if it occurred, then it is a threat. If it has a positive impact then it is known as an opportunity. The combined effect of risks to a set of objectives is known as risk exposure, and is the extent of the risk borne by that part of the organization at that time.
Risk has always been an inherent feature in any undertaking therefore risk management is not a new concept for organizations. The earliest application of risk management within organizations tended to focus on insurance management in terms of establishing financial capacity for the negative effects of adverse events. During the 1970s a broader view started to emerge whereby organizations began to develop a better understanding of the nature of the risks being faced and looked at alternatives to insurance. There remained, however, a focus on the negative effects of risk.
Only in recent years have organizations begun to recognize that risk management, in its broadest sense, applies to both negative threats and positive opportunities. In each case a proactive approach is required, which seeks to understand the size of the possible threats and opportunities so that a decision can be made about whether to accept the threat or opportunity or act upon it in some way. Whilst it may be tempting to consider these as separate activities, in practice, opportunities and threats are seldom independent.
Since then the world of risk management has moved forward in both the public and private sectors. Legislation that requires corporate governance and internal control has…...

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