Natural disasters and terrorism don't worry CEOs as much as an IT systems collapse, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The SAP-sponsored study showed that nearly a third of the 145 international senior executives surveyed listed IT systems collapse as their company's greatest risk. Yet only one in 10 found their businesses had ample IT risk management.

Intricate IT systems keep companies competitive, yet vulnerable, with complexity ranking noticeably higher than other factors blamed for IT collapse. Systems that connect the company can create a domino effect if things go wrong.

While security breaches were cited as the biggest concerns, other risks

"IT risk should encompass possible damage to the full range of IT-related activity, including all aspects of business continuity, the impact of delayed IT projects and how IT failure affects customer service revenue and productivity," said Rama Ramaswami, editor of the report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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