Be bold and get moving: PwC on risk, digital transformation and embracing data

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For the second year in a row, industry Analyst Patrick Heffernan and colleagues from TBR attended PwC’s annual Risk Summit, a client-centric event for sharing lessons learned among client risk professionals and presenting PwC’s strategy, product, and service strategies to clients and the analyst community. This year the summit featured multiple client panels and created a clear picture of the challenges and risk most relevant in digital transformation. Over 50 PwC clients, 35 leading industry analysts from 12 firms attended the event, held each year in Boston, Massachusetts.

With risk permeating every business conversation and PwC accelerating investments in digital-related offerings to enable smarter risk taking, the firm has prepared for the next wave of opportunities. Trading on trust remains at the core of these opportunities, especially as the politics of data continue to disrupt PwC and its clients. The firm creates a good use case for embracing digital technologies and approaches for managing risk through a broad spectrum of capabilities, including digital risk services and solutions, cybersecurity and privacy offerings and IP, due diligence and third-party certification services to help clients manage risk in supply chains, expand on this necessary dimension to its risk practice that serves a broadening community of enterprise consumers.

Highlights from the summit’s extensive discussions around data in the context of risk and digital transformation include:

  • One PwC partner noted that today’s risks are more frequently human-driven and that humans are less predictable than the weather (i.e., a tornado hitting a supply chain could cause less damage than a malicious or incompetent human). With enhanced analytics, companies can use data to get a sense of where humans are going, predict where human trends are starting to move, and thereby get ahead of the policy risks inherent in human behavior.
  • As companies share data within the organization, data sharing is integral to the digital environment, leading to increased opportunity (for PwC) and responsibility to keep data secure and private within an ecosystem.
  • Connecting trust and data, one PwC client said, “The first step in digital trust is an assumption that you know your data. There’s a lot of folks who just do not know their data. Where is the data, how is it classified, and how are you protected?” From a risk perspective, this emphasis on challenging assumptions about data strikes TBR as the connective tissue between the IT department and Risk practice, an opening for all risk-oriented consultancies.

According to Jason Pett: “Our 2019 Risk in Review Study reveals six behaviors that divide risk functions into those helping their organizations take smarter risks on their digital journeys—a group we call Dynamics—and those a step or more behind: the Actives and the Beginners. The groups tell us that risk management, internal audit and compliance professionals (or, collectively risk functions), far from stalling digital initiatives, can help their organizations meet or beat their transformation goals. Certain risk functions are there now. For others, it’s time to be bold, and get moving."

Contact us

Rob Donnelly

Global Lead, Analyst Relations, New York, PwC United States

+1 (917) 471 3355


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