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How CIOs can assess and better prepare for mitigating digital geopolitical risks

Yesterday, Gartner outlined the impact that technology governance issues emanating from cross-country politics will have on multinational CIOs. With many CIOs 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, multinational CIOs must prepare for the consequences of this new reality.

According to Gartner, CIOs must play a pivotal role in assessing corporate risk and, if required, restructuring digital systems. This includes protecting digital sovereignty, ensuring that the IT organisation’s operating model and practices are compliant with the laws and regulations of the regions in which they operate. Additionally, given the disruptions to physical and digital supply chains amid geopolitical conflict, CIOs can no longer rely on the availability of technology used by the enterprise for its operations in any country in which it operates, and will likely be faced with restricted and mandated suppliers.

Therefore, Gartner advises localising specific initiatives into countries that have the best integration between local expertise and access to government support. To mitigate disruptions caused by the emerging sphere of cyberwarfare, CIOs are also advised to establish a vendor and technology risk centre of excellence, chartered with a regular assessment of the exposure of key suppliers to evolving government restrictions.

Jay Reilly, SVP EMEA at Precisely comments on how CIOs can assess and better prepare for mitigating digital geopolitical risks by improving the trustworthiness of their organisations’ insights and the data that drives them.

“CIOs that are striving to reduce their geopolitical exposure amid worsening tensions need to ensure they are making the right decisions. 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.

“The problem for many businesses though is that their data does not have the right accuracy, consistency, and context to able to report on it, let alone use it to make worthwhile changes to their operations. In a recent Corinium Intelligence study, 50 per cent of organisations reported that their attempts to put core data management frameworks in place yield ‘mixed’ or ‘disappointing’ results, with 41 per cent reporting the same results when looking to establish value-driving analytics programmes. These responses show that many enterprises still have work to do to ensure the integrity of the data they’re managing.

“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. 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.”