IIA’s ‘OnRisk’ Report Assesses 2021 Risk Landscape; Focuses on Importance of Business Continuity Software

This article covers everything you need to know from IIA’s ‘OnRisk’ 2021 report, including how the pandemic has both reshaped and improved how managers think about business continuity software, risk management, and communications. Get up to speed here.

How are boards, executive management and internal audit aligning around risk management? The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has released its second annual report, “On Risk 2021: A Guide to Understanding, Aligning and Optimizing Risk,” an insightful read. 

“Observations from OnRisk 2021 go beyond noting the obvious fallout from lockdowns, economic uncertainty, and worksite disruptions spurred by COVID-19. It examines how the pandemic has generally improved alignment among risk management players on business continuity, risk management, and communications. It delves into the virus’s potential long-term influence on accelerating the use of technology. It explores how embracing technology will affect cybersecurity, talent management, disruptive innovation, and other risks,” says Richard Chambers, president of the IIA said in an announcement on Internal Auditor online.

Some noteworthy metrics in the report:

  • Business continuity, crisis management and cybersecurity are the top-rated risks for 2021
  • 87% of board members surveyed ranked business continuity and crisis management as highly or extremely relevant, while more than 93% CAEs rated it as highly or extremely relevant

The OnRisk 2021 report’s methodology applied qualitative and quantitative surveys to measure how boards, the C-suite, and internal audit teams view 11 key risks facing organizations in the coming year. It measured respondents’ views on their personal knowledge of each risk, the capability of their organizations to manage each risk, and how relevant each risk is to their organizations. “The data shows improved alignment on risk knowledge and capability, but potentially troubling dissonance on risk relevance,” Chambers said.

The IIA’s methodology employed qualitative interviews of 30 board members, 30 C-suite executives, and 30 chief audit executives (CAEs) from 90 different organizations. Further support came from a quantitative survey of CAEs, which drew 348 responses.


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