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The Rising Prominence of Risk Management

by John A. Wheeler  |  March 21, 2014  |  Submit a Comment

With all the current hype around big data and analytics, I recently decided to explore how risk management has grown in popularity using a unique big data analytic tool – Google’s Ngram Viewer. For those unfamiliar with Ngram Viewer, it is essentially an online analytic tool designed to provide statistics on the usage of phrases in over 5 million books digitized by Google. To conduct this very quick and slightly unscientific study, I analyzed the following phrases that encompass the management disciplines I research here at Gartner.

  1. Information Technology
  2. Risk Management
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Financial Management
  5. Information Security
  6. Supply-chain Management

As you will see in the graphical results below, Ngram Viewer provided a trend analysis of the usage of these management disciplines in books published between 1968 and 2008. The trends are quite compelling. 40 years ago, financial management was the most common among the six disciplines. However, that changed dramatically by 1987 when information technology emerged as the most common discipline. Not surprisingly, that was the year when personal computing really took hold with the launch of the IBM PS/2 personal computer and release of Microsoft Windows 2.0.

Source: Google Ngram Viewer

Source: Google Ngram Viewer

Then, in 1998, risk management took over as the second most common management discipline. Coincidentally, that was the same year of the infamous collapse of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) requiring a $3.6 billion bailout from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Ironically, this was one of the seminal events that foreshadowed the 2008 economic crisis and the Great Recession.

These results also demonstrate the importance of these management disciplines in today’s business world. In fact, these disciplines will be explored in greater depth at Gartner’s upcoming series of Security & Risk Management Summit Events to be conducted this year across the globe. For more information on each event, please click the links below. See you there!

Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit  23 – 26 June 2014 | National Harbor, MD (Washington, D.C. area)

Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit  25 – 26 August 2014 | Sydney, Australia

Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit  8 – 9 September 2014 | London, UK

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Category: information-technology  risk-management  

Tags: financial-management  information-security  information-technology-2  risk-management  strategic-planning  supply-chain-management  

John A. Wheeler
Global Research Leader - Risk Management Technology
9 years at Gartner
30 years IT Industry

John A. Wheeler is global research leader for risk management technology solutions and professional services. His areas of specialty include integrated risk management, executive leadership and corporate governance. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAWheeler Read Full Bio

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