In late 2019, early 2020, the world woke up to the first, in modern memory, a truly global pandemic.
Prior to COVID-19, Business Continuity Professionals had to go cap in hand with line of business managers to try and perform the annual Business Impact Analysis (BIA), review “their” Business Continuity, Resumption, and IT DR Plans. Validation by training and exercising was always an up-hill struggle where the BC Manager was seen as an unnecessary distraction from revenue-generating or customer servicing activities. Business Continuity was (and still is in some organisations) a tick in the box compliance activity. Pandemic plans were written but no one ever wanted to exercise the plan. Business Continuity Plans contained plans to lift and shift workforces to other locations (in-country and or abroad). Then COVID struct and no one could cross country never mind abroad.
Pandemic plans were dusted off, supply chains were disrupted and suddenly Business Continuity and Major Incident Management were in the headlights of the board. BC Professionals’ advice was sort and BC Professionals became front of house Business enablers. Pandemic statements, communications, A and B teaming, Geo-separation of functions and of course Work from Home (WfH) became the business buzzwords and focus.
But today, as COVID becomes the modern version of flu, the Business Continuity professionals are once again back office, not seen as revenue protecting, focused of budget cuts and no longer the “must-have” focus.
Climate Change is causing natural disasters which cause impacts on organisations, workforces, supply chains and offshored service provisions. Terrorism has the same impact for business. And Cyberwarfare, not only, impacts the targets but other areas indirectly. Such as supply chain, medical services, transport fuel, food availability and costs, education, and public health.
War in Eastern Europe is causing disruption with the delivery of products and services that have been outsourced and offshored to lower-cost but higher-risk locations.
Operational Resilience is NOT a one and done. The world is smaller, business is agile where it is no longer the big eats the small. It’s where the FAST EAT THE SLOW. Economies, supply chains and markets are global and Operational Resilience has a key role to play in Business Risk Management. Ensuring that Organisations are fully aware of potential threats and, where their future revenues, the brand and their Consumers need to be protected.
Operational Resilience, on the shoulders of Business Continuity, is proving its worth its place in the C suite. Ensuring the protection of the organisation and its consumers is embedded in every part of their service value chain.
Does your C-Suite have a Chief Resilience Officer where the function is not a “off the side of the desk” responsibility?
Join us for breakfast on the 19th May in London from 9am to hear Terry Downing speak about his experiences on Operational Resilience, sign up is here
Author – Terry Downing