Every project is inherently risky. This is especially true in the fast-paced uncertainty of an IT project. Create a risk assessment document in order to prepare for the inevitable. An IT risk assessment template gives you the tools to see what might be waiting around the corner.
Why You Need an IT Risk Assessment Template
Risk is something that is just part of life, but in business that risk can bring financial loss and send an enterprise spiralling down into ruin. This is doubly true of IT projects. First off, most businesses today rely heavily on IT. Imagine doing work if your network went down or your computer fizzed out?
The list of risks to an IT environment are long. They include hardware or software failure, malware, viruses, pace, scams and phishing. There’s also human error and malignant threats from hackers, fraud, denial-of-service attacks, security breaches and even dishonest staff. That doesn’t even take into account natural disasters, such as floods, fire, etc., which can take down an IT system and with it a company’s valuable data.
Whoever is responsible for risk management at your organization, be they the chief technology officer, chief security officer, chief risk officer, chief information officer or whomever, they are involved in a three-step process to control risk: risk assessment, risk mitigation and risk evaluation and assessment. While all three are important, when you start with a thorough risk assessment, you’re more likely prepared for the other stages of managing risk.
Potential Losses from IT Downtime
According to a report by CompTIA, global IT is on track in 2019 to reach a $5 trillion industry, with the U.S. the world’s largest tech market, representing 31 percent or $1.6 billion. That’s a lot of money to leave in the sights of potential risk.
The average cost of just one minute of IT downtime is about $5,600, according to research conducted by Gartner. But depending on the size of the company and its financial investment in staff, that figure can range anywhere from $140,000 to $540,000 per hour.
In fact, 33 percent of the companies surveyed claimed that an hour of downtime cost them between $1-5 million, factoring in lost productivity, lost opportunities, damage to their brand, data loss and, if you have them, service level agreements (SLA), which is an agreement on quality and availability, between a service provider and client.
With an IT risk assessment template you can identify company assets, list potential threats, look into where you’re vulnerable and the likelihood of incidents. Note what the possible repercussions of a realized risk are and determine what controls must be in place to manage them. Also, you can use this information to work on continuously improving the process.
What’s Inside Our IT Risk Assessment Template
The basic structure of any IT assessment is built into our IT risk assessment template. From numerically listing the various items to avoid confusion and naming the topic, to outlining what the risk is and the control environment. Our IT risk assessment template helps you collect the information you need.
This template not only gives you a bucket in which to collect risks to your IT system, but actions that will mitigate those risks and the means by which you can monitor your organization so as to know immediately when the rise arises, if it does.
There’s also a handy calculator to take the likelihood of the risk happening and multiply that against the impact such a risk would have on the organization, so you have a tool to measure the possible impact of that risk upon your IT system.
How to Use Our Risk Assessment Template
The IT risk assessment template is a list of potential risks, numbered on a spreadsheet. Each row is a risk. The columns are as follows.
- Item: The number of the risk, for easy tracking and identification
- Topic: The area of risk, a more general heading of where the risk is likely to occur
- Risk: Specific definition of what the actual risk is
- Control Environment: A set of standards, structures and processes that are needed to control the risk
- Risk Assessment: A general idea of how the risk will impact the operations
- Control Activities: The policies, procedures, techniques, mechanisms, etc., in place for management’s reduction of risk
- Monitoring: Tracking of identified risks and execution of risk management
- Information and Communication: Background on risk and how it will be disseminated
- Controls Present: Are the necessary controls against risk in place (yes or no drop-down list)
- Risk Judgement: Further clarification of risk in terms of priority (high, medium, low priority drop-down list)
- Likelihood: Drop-down list on likelihood of risk occurring
- Impact: Drop-down list of potential impact
- Risk Level: Calculates prior two columns to further define risk
- Comments: Additional information or dialogue
How to Import Our IT Risk Assessment Template into ProjectManager.com
Our IT risk assessment template is a great starting point on your risk management plan. But there is so much more that you can do then collect data on a static spreadsheet. ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software that takes your risk assessment to the next level.
To get our IT risk assessment template into the ProjectManager.com software, simply create a project and go to the Gantt view. On the upper right-hand corner is an import button. You can import our spreadsheet or any Excel, CSV or even MS Project file and all your data is instantly populated on the Gantt.
Now you have more control to automate tasks, like alerts for upcoming deadlines, and can even assign individual tasks to team members. They can converse with fellow team members at the task level, add supporting material to the task and when they update their status, you know instantly on the real-time dashboard.
From the dashboard you can also generate colorful and easy-to-read charts and graphs, which can be filtered to show only the information you want for the target audience. These charts and graphs can then be shared with team members or management to keep everyone on the same page.
Related Content on ProjectManager.com
Risk is a big subject, and one that is ever-evolving. ProjectManager.com has resources on our site to help fill in the gaps in one’s knowledge of IT risk and risk in all its project forms. The following are a few of the many training videos and blog posts we’ve published on the subject.
ProjectManager.com to Control IT Risk
Are you ready to take more control of your IT risk assessment and risk management? ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software that has all the features you need to get any project done on time, within budget. See how ProjectManager.com can help you better identify, control and track risk in your IT systems by taking this free 30-day trial today.