2020 has seen more people speaking of ‘resilience’ than ever before. While some organisations are well underway on their resilience journeys, others still ponder what resilience really means and how to start building it, says Padma Naidoo, GM: Advisory Services at ContinuitySA.
Amidst global economic pressures, many organisations do not have the funds, resources and time available to develop and implement comprehensive programmes to enhance resilience. With this in mind, here are some tips to assist organisations in directing their endeavours.
Acknowledge the importance. Resilience is not about compliance or governance or a tick-box for third-party pressures; it’s about an organisation’s survivability, its mandate/strategic objectives, its bottom line. Acknowledging the fundamental importance that resilience plays is the foremost step towards enhancing it. This acknowledgement needs to happen at an executive/board level; and will set the tone for all efforts that follow. Executive buy-in and support is a critical success factor.
Stop to understand your needs. While there are certain core elements of resilience that all organisations should have in place, each organisation will have its unique vulnerabilities and requirements. Although analysing your needs doesn’t directly enhance resilience, it certainly helps prioritise efforts and ensure that available resources are expended in the most efficient manner. There are several tools that may be used to unpack your needs, such as risk assessments, business impact analysis, single points of failure analysis, etc.
Review your security posture. Cybersecurity remains one of the top five risks across all sectors, constantly evolving and escalating. Data has the power to bring any organisation to its knees. It would therefore serve any organisation well to review its information security posture, with due consideration to prevention, detection and response measures. And this review should be a regular activity to ensure readiness to deal with emerging threats.
Don’t forget about your supply chain. No matter how well you implement continuity and resilience internally, your suppliers may be your Achilles heel. With COVID-19 prompting organisations to re-examine their supply chains, it is an ideal time to not only build resilience, but also to reap the benefits that constructive collaboration can offer. So, take the time to define your supply chain resilience framework, analyse and tier your suppliers, build continuity into your contracts and go the extra mile to manage your critical supplier relationships.
Keep it alive. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve addressed one component or implemented a fully-fledged cross-functional resilience programme, your efforts will be in vain if they aren’t kept alive. Resilience in not a milestone, it’s a way of life.
So, until the principles of resilience are woven into the fibre of your organisation and underpin your operations, apply conscious methods to keep it alive: review your needs, test your plans, validate your capabilities, continue raising awareness and slowly expand across your business.
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