Global events and conditions over the past two years have increased awareness of the need for organizations to be prepared. In their May 2021 study, McKinsey & Company clearly expressed that the speed and uncertainty of change requires companies build long-term plans to withstand the threat of disruption in order come out stronger. That summarizes the critical need for business resiliency today.
That need has made business resiliency a key responsibility for businesses of all sizes. That warrants understanding what business resiliency is, what it comprises and how to insure your business has it.
What is Business Resiliency?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines business resiliency as an organization’s ability to both absorb changes and adapt to changes in the environment in order to deliver their objectives in ways that mean survival and prosperity.
Let’s distinguish between business resiliency and the more familiar phrase “business continuity”. Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so business can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. Business continuity might mean restoring the supply chain, managing despite utilities outages or withstanding a cyberattack.
Business resiliency, in contrast, is an organization’s ability to withstand unpredictable changes by continuing to perform and emerge as an improved, even stronger force in their market, for their customers and employees. Consider these examples; cementing supply chain reliability, transferring seamlessly to alternative utilities in case of outages and increasing customer confidence by preventing cyberattacks before they occur.
Businesses today face ever-increasing threats while being pressured to perform to a higher caliber. Organizations must give increased attention to heightened degrees of threatened disruptions and how to survive them. Such threats, which may trigger situations testing a company’s resiliency, may include but are not limited to:
- Geopolitical factors such as COVID-19 continuing, international conflict
- Climate change, natural disaster, health threats
- Digital and technological change
- Cyber event such as attack, fraud, vandalism, ransomware infection
What Contributes to Business Resiliency?
A business’s ability to respond and prosper in the face of change comes from integration of three more exact resiliencies, digital resiliency, cyber resiliency and workforce resiliency.
Digital resiliency, according to IDC in March 2021, is essentially the definition of business resiliency applied specifically to the digital capabilities of an organization. In other words, a company’s knowledge and skills for rapid adaptation of its digital capabilities that restores, even capitalizes on the changing conditions. ¹
Digital resiliency combines proactive digitalizing business operations with configuring its digital capabilities to restore operations and capitalize on changed conditions immediately. Consequently, it boosts your company’s ability to not merely survive, but to also capitalize from such forward thinking concepts as:
- Planning organization-wide processes for fast recovery from disruption
- Applying both data and digital governance to support rapid response to disruptions
- Continually improving digital innovations’ speed and time to market
Research by the World Economic Forum shows that when companies integrate advanced digital technologies across the value chain, they are likely achieve significant improvements in multiple performance measures, such as:
- Productivity increases of up to 90 percent
- Lead time reduction of up to 80 percent
- Speed-to-market improvements of up to 100 percent
- Energy efficiency improvements of up to 50 percent
Cyber resiliency is a business’s ability to respond seamlessly to a data attack or data failure. Cyber resiliency restores disrupted operations while maintaining customer trust and absorbing all impact on the business’s brand, financial footing and legal stability.
Whereas cybersecurity minimizes the threat of data attack or failure, cyber resiliency minimizes the impact itself by maximizing the ability to return quickly to previous or improved levels of performance. As a result, the greater your company’s cyber resiliency, the stronger its performance, reputation and financial footing in the aftermath of a disruption.
True cyber resiliency relies on four integrated elements, which may offer a workable cybersecurity “checklist” to ensure that your organization:
- Manages and protects data and data management systems
- Identifies and detects all potential risks and threats
- Responds to and recovers from any data disruption
- Governs and assures that all personnel can effectively respond to any disruption
Every business should conduct recurring cyber resiliency assessments to check, update and modify its preparedness in response to changes in business, operations and technology.
Workforce resiliency demonstrates employees’ ability to respond to threats such as scams and phishing attacks designed to infiltrate the organization. The growth of remote workforces and employees’ use of personal devices over the past two years has fed the rise of greater, more varied cyber-risks and cyberthreats. Every business’s workforce today must be willing and able to:
- Acquire an evolving set of soft skills to apply in the changing business environment
- Navigate changes in their company’s business operations and assignments
- Develop capabilities to work with advancing technologies
- Deal with disruptions efficiently and effectively as they arise
Ensuring that employees receive essential information and education in each of these areas is a business imperative. As organizations focus today on technology’s exponential rate of change, they must not overlook the human component.
As you evaluate your organization’s present level of business resiliency, you must project future actions that will ensure the ability to counter and overcome ever-greater risks and threats.
What do Dell Technologies and Dell Technologies Education Services offer to each component of your company’s business resiliency? Check Dell Technologies Business Resiliency Services.
1 Why Digital Resiliency is Critical to Building the Future Enterprise, IDC, March 26, 2021