Unilever expects to make significant savings on IT security costs following a programme to assess the risks of IT applications failing.
The manufacturer, whose brands include PG Tips and Flora, is halfway through a global review of the IT applications it uses in more than 150 countries. The review will benchmark how critical each application is to the business.
"All of our IT applications have a value to our business, but not each application has the same value when it comes to managing the severity of its failing," said Andrew Strong, global security director at Unilever.
Standardised risk criteria will allow Unilever to compare the risk of a SAP application in one part of the world failing relative to a SAP application somewhere else, said Strong.
Unilever has been left with a large number of IT applications following a series of mergers and acquisitions. Finding the value of protecting each application is essential to reducing costs and risks, he said.
"It is not the IT department's place to determine what is an acceptable risk for the business to take when it comes to protecting its applications.
"However, if the IT department documents what the business consequences of application failure are, they have some comeback when IT risk is poorly managed," he said.