I had a very interesting briefing with one of the vendors for Privileged Account Management today. Like in most briefings, we also touched the current economic turmoil. The discussion we had convinced the expectations I have for the GRC and IAM markets: They probably will not be that heavily affected by the economic crisis than other IT market segments. The reason is simple - companies have learned that risk management is mandatory and the pressure on implementing a high level of GRC controls is increasing. Companies have to invest whether they like or not.

But in the discussion we came to the point that there is another relationship: The companies that have invested in Risk Management and related technologies, down to Privileged Account Management, are not that much affected by the crisis than the ones who hesitated to invest money in GRC.

My opinion is that the reason for this for sure isn't that for example Privileged Account Management or even the more advanced generic IT GRC solutions prevent companies (like financial institutions) from going bankrupt. But companies that invest in these technologies have understood the need for Risk Management. And they are likely to have a strong, reliable Risk Management as well for operational risks. They decided to invest in IT GRC, Risk Management, and other technologies because they were risk-aware. The ones who didn't invest were probably more sort of risk-agnostic.

For sure there are examples of companies in trouble, even with a strong IT Risk Management - and there are companies without Risk Management which still aren't affected that much by the economic crisis. But most companies have understood the message: They need Risk Management, for operational risks as well as IT risks. That is the reason why there will be significant investments in these market segments. Either companies have to act because they are blamed for their faults in Risk Management - or they don't want to become blamed.

By the way, for the ones of you capable of reading germans - today I read an article about a survey that found an inability of brokers to think logically. No surprise in these days, isn't it?