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Risks that may affect your data management project

Consider risks to data planOur data management services include ensuring data availability and accessibility as well as archive and storage consolidation. This means we regularly handle data management projects for large organisations and governments. These can be projects to help search, recover, migrate and restore data, or alternatively content migration projects which may encompass media collection and audits, tape indexing and cataloguing, data extraction and/or de-duplication as well as media and data conversion.

When we’re working on this type of projects, there are a series of considerations that we must take into account to ensure it is handled effectively and efficiently to satisfy our customers’ needs. This is a (by no means exhaustive) list of the main risks faced in key different areas that we need to be aware of as they could affect the outcome of the project and its usefulness to our clients:

Strategic/commercial

  • Under-performance to specification
  • Management will under-performance to expectations
  • Collapse of contractors
  • Insolvency of promoter
  • Failure of suppliers to meet contractual commitments (e.g. quality, quantity, timescales or own risk exposure)
  • Insufficient capital revenues
  • Market fluctuations
  • Fraud/theft
  • Partnerships failing to deliver the desired outcome
  • Situation non-insurable (or cost of insurance outweighs the benefit)
  • Lack of capital investment availability.

Economic/financial/market

  • Exchange rate fluctuation
  • Interest rate instability
  • Inflation
  • Shortage of working capital
  • Failure to meet projected revenue targets
  • Market developments adversely affect plans.

Legal and regulatory

  • New or changed legislation invalidates assumptions upon which the activity is based
  • Failure to obtain appropriate approval (e.g. planning, consent)
  • Unforeseen inclusion of contingent liabilities
  • Loss of intellectual property rights
  • Failure to achieve satisfactory contractual arrangements
  • Unexpected regulatory controls or licensing requirements
  • Changes in tax or tariff structure.

Organisational/management/human factors

  • Management incompetence
  • Inadequate corporate policies
  • Inadequate adoption of management practices
  • Poor leadership
  • Inadequate authority of key personnel to fulfil roles
  • Poor staff selection procedures
  • Lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities
  • Vested interests creating conflict and compromising the overall aims
  • Individual or group interests given unwarranted priority
  • Personality clashes
  • Indecision or inappropriate decision making
  • Lack of operational support
  • Inadequate or inaccurate information
  • Health and safety constraints.

Political

  • Change of government policy, national or international (e.g. approach to nationalisation)
  • Change of government
  • War and disorder
  • Adverse public opinion/media intervention.

Environmental

  • Natural disasters
  • Storms, flooding, tempests
  • Pollution incidents
  • Transport problems, including aircraft/vehicle collisions.

Technical/operational/infrastructure

  • Inadequate design
  • Professional negligence
  • Human error/incompetence
  • Infrastructure failure
  • Operation lifetime lower than expected
  • Residual value of assets lower than expected
  • Increased dismantling/decommissioning costs
  • Safety being compromised
  • Performance failure
  • Residual maintenance problems
  • Scope ‘creep’
  • Unclear expectations
  • Breaches in security/information security
  • Lack or inadequacy of business continuity.

When handling critical data-related projects that require professional support, we recommend you partner with a reliable data management expert that will be able to deliver your data appropriately to ensure you are able to face the plethora of risks that could affect the successful implementation of your project.

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