Trends in Operational Resilience: Webinar Takeaways

Jun 21, 2023
A recent Agility and Preparis webinar explored the topic of resilience in organizations and how they can prepare for future crises.

The discussion was based on insights and trends from a recent survey conducted by the Conference Board's Business Continuity and Crisis Management Council and sponsored by Agility and Preparis, featuring Enterprise Resilience Systems executive director Tim Mathews and Freedom Mortgage vice president of enterprise business continuity Nancy Valente.

The Pandemic's Effect on Operational Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on how organizations view operational resilience and the risks they face. A majority of survey respondents indicated that the disruptive events of the past few years have impacted their decisions to invest in operational resilience capabilities.

"More than 90% said that threats are increasing," shared Tim Mathews, highlighting the growing importance of being prepared for various types of risks and events.

Nancy Valente discussed the importance of organizations being adaptable and open to change, stating that resilient organizations can "fail and fail fast and pick themselves back up." Both speakers emphasized the need for constant learning and collaboration within organizations to help build resilience and adapt to new challenges.

"Be a constant learner," advised Mathews, while Valente encouraged identifying "resilience partners" within your company and collaborating with them.

Remote Risks Growing with Hybrid Work

The survey results showed that remote work risks are a significant concern for organizations, with more than 60% of respondents indicating they were either extremely or somewhat concerned about various aspects of remote work. These concerns include reduced employee engagement, increased screen fatigue, and potential loss of internet connectivity or power.

Tim Mathews pointed out the potential issues with remote work, such as the security of home networks and the impact on company culture. He said, "We have to realize that our executives may not see things the way we see." Nancy Valente added that productivity is a major concern for management, and organizations will need to find ways to maintain or improve productivity while supporting remote work.

Investments in Operational Resilience Expected to Increase

Respondents to the survey indicated that investments in operational resilience are expected to increase across a range of areas, with exercising and testing being the second most significant area of investment. This suggests that organizations recognize the importance of testing their resilience capabilities and learning from these exercises to improve their preparedness for future events.

Tim Mathews emphasized the importance of exercising and testing, stating, "I'm a firm believer in exercising and testing. I think I've always said that if I had to choose between doing a BIA or doing an exercise, I'd rather exercise because I could learn more about what's broken and how to fix it in an exercise." Nancy Valente agreed, suggesting that organizations should take advantage of awareness weeks to promote preparedness and encourage employees to be more resilient.

Additional Insights

  • Most respondents believed that the world is becoming riskier, with cyberattacks being the top perceived risk.
  • Pandemic disruptions were seen as a major impact but not perceived as a significant future risk.
  • There is a disconnect between practitioners' confidence in their operational resilience capabilities and the perception of their executives.
  • The scope and scale of operational resilience programs have increased and are expected to continue growing.
  • Personal preparedness and community involvement are essential for creating a resilient organization.

Watch the full webinar here.

View the on-demand webinar for more insights.