Bridging the gap between technologists and risk managers

Bridging the gap between technologists and risk managers

By Craig Spielmann, Former Global Head of Enterprise Risk Management Strategy, First Data

Interview ahead of X-Tech 2019: Financial Services and Technology. (Get 15% discount on the Convention using presenter code: XTECH33)
Craig, can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself and what your current professional focus is?

I’ve been in the financial industry for 35+ years and held senior management roles in business, technology and risk management for the top global financial institutions. I currently run RiskTao, LLC a boutique risk advisory & training firm.  My focus has been on the Fintech industry and assisting them to build sustainable businesses with a risk lens. Besides moving to Southern California , I ‘m focused on passing on my knowledge to “at risk” people to give them a structured way to achieve their goals.

What, for you, are the benefits of attending a conference like the ‘X-Tech 2019 Convention’? What can attendees expect to learn from your session?

The benefits are networking, sharing ideas and techniques to navigate risk and new technologies. In addition, with the Las Vegas venue, having fun on the strip and building relationships with people in the industry. For me personally, it catching up with friends and learning from the other speakers.

My workshop on “Bridging the Gap Between Technologist and Risk Managers,‘” will provide a proven approach to measure technology risk in a transparent and logical way. This approach was successfully implemented at three major global financial institutions and was extremely helping in bridging the gap between the business, regulators, auditors, risk managers and senior executives. The result was that all parties were on the same page in measuring risk and subsequently, making smart investment decisions to mitigate or accept it.

Please can you provide an overview of what risk professionals should and shouldn’t be worried about when it comes to bridging the gap between technologists and risk managers?

There has been a reluctance to look at the “true business impact” from technology risk. Usually the measurement has been in the hands of people who don’t have access to the P&L generated from the technology. As such, it is a challenge to come up with an accurate “ball park” estimate unless you use a traffic light approach, which is a hindrance to risk measurement due to its shortcomings.

In your opinion, how can we look to effectively turn cyber risk into dollar value?

That is the essence of the workshop material but I will give you some insight into our thinking. Everything in business has a value. Its taking the time to articulate the value that matters.  We will discuss the value of technology on the business and outline a concrete approach to measuring it.

What are the benefits of combining agendas and knowledge and what are the key considerations that need to be made?

It provides conference participants a platform that best suites their own interest and needs. They can pick and choose the most relevant topics.

Looking ahead, how do you see the technology and innovation space evolving?

To date , we have seen new technologies that are “problem solvers” for life’s inconveniences such as mobile banking , P2P payments, robot vacuums & housecleaners, home security devices and algorithmic trading. These are just a few established technologies.

The next generation is going to tackle the bigger threats such as robot armies, increased drone military capability in ships, planes, and tanks. I believe it will also lead to increased medical analysis and remediation. Already we have robot’s performing surgeries supervised by the doctors that is just the beginning. Eventually, your I-Watch will monitor and diagnose your entire well being on a constant basis.

Going further out on the innovation curve, storing “human conciseness” is not out of the question. Something to ponder.

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