Recession Risks Loom Large For Tech Firms, Finds Survey

Technology, media and communications executives say that they are reviewing their risk processes for fear of bank and contractor collapses and currency fluctuations, according to a risk advice and insurance company.

Marsh surveyed managers in 107 businesses in the technology, media and communications sector and found that three-quarters of them had reviewed risk management policies since the recession began while 85% say they think risk management is more important now than before the economic downturn.

The Marsh survey found that technology, media and communications companies were most worried about bank solvency; currency fluctuations; contractor risks; and underperforming investments.

“We are surprised at the absence of sector-specific risks," said Marsh's Frederik Motzfeldt. "For example, intellectual property is rated a significant risk by only 30% of participants. Each new line of business or new product launched brings with it new and unmapped risks."

"For example, the ability to make bill payments using a mobile phone means that an operator is open to new risk in the areas of fraud, reputation and errors and omissions. Companies need to plan how they manage these risks proactively from the outset," he said.

Though companies have told Marsh that they are focusing on risk, budgets are not necessarily increasing. Just a third of respondents said that they would be spending more on risk management because of the recession, while 55% said spending would stay the same.

“European communication, media and technology firms surveyed have low levels of confidence in their existing risk management procedures," said Motzfeldt. "Only 25% are very confident in the ability of their company’s processes to fully address the risks facing them. This means that these processes have to change."