In today’s world, businesses face not only stiff competition from rivals but also a uniquely tumultuous global environment. Resiliency consultants can help them develop the toughness required to thrive.
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Turbulence and Resiliency
Business life is hard. Half of new businesses fail within five years and the list of once dominant companies that are no longer in existence is long.
If the challenge posed by determined competitors was not great enough, companies today face added threats from increasing global turbulence. Supply chain problems, the rise in extreme weather, increasing conflict, cybercrime, and the potential for social media disaster all pose hazards to today’s businesses.
Meanwhile, our shift toward an always-on culture and expectations has seen a change in terminology in business continuity. The term “business continuity” is giving way to the term “resiliency.”
Resiliency and BC both mean having the appropriate level of protections.
The difference is one of emphasis. Traditionally, BC focused on recovering from outages. Resiliency is less about reacting to bad things that happen and more about being ready to bounce back and keep moving forward appropriately when they do happen.
Some people say resiliency means being able to keep everything on all the time, no matter what happens. As a goal, this is neither realistic nor necessary.
Some things need to stay on all the time. Most can experience a period of downtime with no great loss. This is what business continuity has been saying all along, so to that extent nothing has changed. The challenge today is the same it has been for a couple of decades: determining which technology and processes must be kept running all the time and which can safely be down for different periods of time, and implementing the measures necessary to achieve this.
Resiliency can be thought of as business continuity–plus.
The Benefits of Resiliency Consulting
As businesses seek to become more resilient, some are engaging the services of resiliency consultants. What can such a consultant do that the company can’t do for itself? The answer is nothing. Any insight the consultant could provide, the company could theoretically come up with on its own.
However, experienced consultants have the ability to quickly spot gaps and craft solutions that can help a company strengthen its resiliency, all while allowing company staff to continue focus their energy on their core competencies.
A resiliency consultant can help a company get in peak condition efficiently and safely.
Here are a few things a good resiliency consultant can do for an organization that does not want to trust to luck in navigating today’s stormy seas.
- Conduct the Business Impact Analysis (BIA), Threat and Risk Assessment (TRA), and Current State Assessment (CSA) that will reveal what the organization’s greatest threats and most critical business processes are.
- Determine what the appropriate needs, strategies, and solutions are to increase the organization’s resiliency across all areas.
- Identify the main vulnerabilities of the organization’s physical locations and technological processes.
- Help determine which technology solutions and physical spaces need to be highly available and which do not.
- Look beyond locations and technology to such frequently overlooked areas as people, processes, and third-party vendors.
- Identify single points of failure (SPOFs).
- Take a close look at the organization’s resiliency from the IT/DR perspective.
- Avoid the trap of recency bias in assessing what might go wrong.
- Drive home the importance of testing, verification, validation, and on-going maintenance, critical aspects of resiliency that many organizations overlook, often to their cost.
- Remind the BC staff that their responsibility is limited to identifying issues and helping come up with solutions. It’s up to the business departments to implement the solutions.
- Develop a roadmap setting out a scheduled list of future steps the organization should take to improve its resiliency moving forward.
The bottom line is, no company needs to hire a consultant to become resilient. But a capable one can do a lot of good.
Thriving in Troubled Times
The world has become more turbulent than ever. Meanwhile, our shift toward an always-on culture has seen the term business continuity give way to the concept of resiliency. Business continuity was about recovering from outages, but resiliency adds a new emphasis on being able to bounce back and continue moving forward no matter what.
No business needs a consultant to become resilient; however, a good one can help an organization in many ways. These include quickly spotting gaps and developing solutions, identifying single points of failure, avoiding recency bias, and developing a roadmap of future improvements.
For more information on developing resiliency, and other hot topics in BC and IT/disaster recovery, check out these recent posts from MHA Consulting and BCMMETRICS: