Are You Thinking About the Impact of Social Media on Risks at Your Company?

Watch and listen to this, then answer these questions:

  1. Do you know how your organization will be using social media this and next year?
  2. What are the risks to the business?
  3. Does your organization have the right controls and processes to manage the risks — and ensure the value of social media is obtained?
  4. Does top management and the board know what is going on? Should they know more?
  5. Are you involved at the right level?
  6. How can your department use social media better — do you understand its possibiilties?

Posted on May 17, 2010 by Norman Marks

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    Social Media is at the front of my responsibility as a Director of Knowledge Management. I have found a couple very useful websites. The first collects general social media policies and the second is more focused on healthcare.
    I also was in a recent discussion on the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors email list about this topic. Below is a response to an auditor who was expressing all of the risks of social media and challenging the value. I added my perception of the value below:
    I have been trying to educate myself on the topic over the last year. I recently attended the IIA GAM Conference in March and listened to Mike Jacka present on Social Media. I have also explored the social media/knowledge management connection in capturing and sharing information more effectively. So with that background let me present the upside.
    1.       Companies used to have to spend millions to create and promote their brand. They used advertising firms, mail, TV commercials, and high paid salesman to get their message out and manage public perception. Today that requirement is largely gone for 90% of the population under 35 years of age. What matters now is “buzz.” Who and how many people are looking at, texting, and talking about your product. Early in game some savvy companies realized that while controlling the social media conversation is much more difficult, they can still influence and manage it. Today they actively create conversations that immediately connect with the people that are most interested.

    Collaboration of experts used to be a rare think tank event covered by the press. In an industry like ours it is impossible to be a master of every subject or consider every risk our clients face, particularly if you are in a single auditor shop. So how do you meet the IIA standards when you know your background in a subject is limited. In 2001 when I joined the AHIA, I was in a solo shop and found the AHIA list-serve discussion very valuable. However the IA industry is changing. Complete assessment of risk management practices is a growing requirement. I have found the most value in defining risk management and developing tools to assess it comes from my virtual non-IA individual connections. I have used linked in groups on ERM, GRC, and other business management topics to connect with professionals that have a variety of expertise. It has helped me to see how IA of the future can intersect with ERM of the future, and potentially governance of the future. I feel this have given me a competitive advantage to my peers.
    I think those to items alone are the key drivers in the quick adoption of social media.
    Back in the mid 90’s when I started my professional work there was a clear generational line that began around 1985 college graduates. Only some were comfortable with computers. Pre-1970 graduates had very few who were comfortable with computers. Now, less than 20 years later we have a new generational lines developing. Pre 1995 graduates are somewhat uncomfortable with texting and social media. Post 2005 graduates know nothing except social media and texting… So whether we like it or not, it is coming and it presents both opportunities and risks to be managed.
    Dan Clayton

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