Risk management in the age of digital disruption

Data, analytics, and the digital tools of today are transforming all aspects of life. The banking and financial services sector has been undergoing its own digital revolution for the last few years and this has brought about significant changes in risk management frameworks.

Partnering with the Risk Management Institute of Australasia, our Singapore team Niwas Nallasamy, Anca Pop and Tahmid Bin Zafar were invited to speak at the 'Risk Management in the Age of Disruption' webinar alongside Alpa Parekh.

With their extensive years of experience in the sector, attendees were able to take away insights on the latest market trends, as well as tips to hire or to take on a career change for the new year.

If you missed the session and are a professional within the governance, risk, compliance (GRC) and regulatory space, below is a summary of the Q&A.

Risk Management Institute of Australasia partners Huxley 2022

What kind of risk management professionals are hiring managers and companies looking out for?

Niwas: “There has been a shift in demand towards risk management professionals who are strategic advisors and managing resilience rather than just process driven and protective risk managers. Definitions of risk have evolved and have expanded. Risk management professionals need to be more agile and serve as a business partner to their stakeholders, rather than someone who is more reactive or is a paper-checker.”

Alpa: ““In my personal observation, I am seeing a rise in big data driven risk management. Companies are asking for talent in data analysis for intelligent trend reporting, pattern recognition to drive business not only strategically forward but to serve customers better whilst managing risks. Operational risk management remains key, but it’s now more geared towards digital and analytical risk management rather than just process driven.”

As a result of this shift as mentioned above, there has been increased interest in data science skills from a hiring perspective across both non-financial risk and financial risk roles. Risk management professionals will need to learn how to interpret data using visualisations tools like Tableau, and present insights rather than merely data dumping into a 30-page report. Hiring sentiments suggest that there is a lot of emphasis on risk hires within the first line of defence namely in business risk management.


With data skills required in the risk management field, is there a need to take on a more proactive approach for Learning & Development (L&D) opportunities? If yes, why?

We did a quick poll during the session on a small sample size, and 43% of our respondents assessed their training programme opportunities to be ‘fair’. We discussed the results as follows.

Tahmid: In 2021, training programmes and risk management courses may not be as versatile in their offerings. As a result, 43% of our respondents found their company’s L&D to be fair. But while this might be a small sample size, it is quite clear that a lot of L&D haven’t been versatile in offering advance knowledge in tech. A lot of platforms are evolving, and much more are becoming more enhanced.  So much so that this became part of the reason why people want to change jobs, in order to upskill. It is pertinent to note that even people who are on the fence are going to be looking out for a new role. Top 3 reasons for this include not receiving the right support from management, lack of competitiveness in salary benchmark, and weak L&D opportunities.”

We then did another quick poll and a massive 89% mentioned that they actively seek external training outside of workplace.

Tahmid: “Here we see that people are trying to understand and adjust to the new demands and need to upskill. Coping with the nervousness of change and disruption, they are applying this to learn and pick up new platforms that are available to enhance their employability. It goes to show that people are now being very reflective in understanding what training they require with the flexibility of remote working. Controversial as this might sound, remote working was an idea that came up after man first landed on the moon – but we were not ready to be able to trust employees to work remotely at that era.”

Another key skill that has been consistent in demand includes python. We have selected the five best and free websites to learn Python for those who wish to have a crash course on it. Programming is becoming increasingly important, not just for IT professionals.


How is the IT GRC market looking like? Is there a talent shortage in this area?

According to Gartner, IT GRC is "the simplification, automation, and integration of enterprise, operational, and IT Risk Management processes or data."

There are two components of IT GRC:

  • The selection and investment in IT Systems, its implementation, and the identification of business results associated with those systems. This is a business decision and is handled by senior or executive management.
  • Ensuring that the Information Technology department runs in an effective and compliant manner. This is a technology initiative and is the responsibility of senior IT Leadership.

Anca: “The current IT GRC market is looking optimistic with reformative Technology Risk Management guidelines. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been very proactive when it comes to tech security and has called for an enhancement in standards of regulations in relation to cyber security. With that, most companies need to increase their human resource to maintain compliance. On the flipside, smaller companies with smaller governance teams will look for consulting firms to support them. However, there is a talent shortage within this space that is contributed by a multitude of factors. Companies will need to focus on trying to find a solution to avoid dealing with this talent short market for too long.”


Are you looking for IT GRC or risk management professionals?

If you wish to find out more about talent trends and talent solutions to upscale your GRC teams, please reach out to us via the form below and a dedicated specialist consultant will be in touch with you. Alternatively, if you are a risk professional looking for a job change, feel free to reach out for some of the latest or most confidential roles. You may also look at available openings on our job search page.

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