Perceived Operational Risk
Perceived Operational risks are the most common type of risks and relate to the fear of failing to use technology. The senior population is growing, and lack of engagement with new technology is an issue impacting social connection. Older people are concerned and fearful as to whether they will be able to use their computer, tablet, or mobile phone due to their own personal ICT abilities. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and get frustrated when they cannot get their devices to work. They don’t trust themselves to overcome an ICT challenge presented to them. This fear is focused on whether the digital device will really do what they want it to do and includes being in control of the functional aspects of different products.
For Rosa, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear I won’t be able to find things I need on my device.”
Operational risks may manifest as being afraid and intimidated by the complexity of ICT devices/tech. For instance, Rosa has a medical app on her phone which helps her track her appointments and daily steps. However, she says the app disappears from her screens sometimes, and she fears she will not be able to reach valuable information if she goes to the doctor.
“I fear I won’t be able to keep up with new devices and applications.”
Operational risks may manifest as a fear of complexity, which may be daunting, especially with devices/tech. For instance, Rosa likes to use her technology skills to create posters for members of her ethnic community. However, her favourite app keeps changing versions and making it difficult for her to keep up with it.