The time for resilience is now

Nov 05 2012, 02:55 IST
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SummaryThe world of business always has a certain amount of uncertainty and risk to deal with. But every so often, organisations tend to forget this, especially those that are either focused on the short-term or that ignore lessons from the past.

The world of business always has a certain amount of uncertainty and risk to deal with. But every so often, organisations tend to forget this, especially those that are either focused on the short-term or that ignore lessons from the past.

In the past few days, Superstorm Sandy left such a massive trail of destruction and disruption that organisations around the world are forced to take a close, hard look at their disaster recovery strategies. Because when such events shake up large swathes of life, business can no longer be as usual.

Nevertheless, organisations must do what they can to spring back to normal functioning. And those that have thought through disastrous scenarios prior to their occurrence usually do. In India when the people of a city are attacked by terrorists time and again, they bounce back in a matter of weeks or even days. They are usually said to be “resilient.”

But what about businesses? Can businesses, like the never-say-die-spirited people, be resilient in the face of extreme events? They can—if they adopt the right strategies and attitudes to disruptions.

For an organisation, business resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions and to maintain continuous business operations, which in turn helps them to build trusted relationships and enable growth. True business resilience starts with understanding exactly what the business needs in order to survive unexpected events and plan ahead for sudden changes that could come at any time.

Organisations should think of business resilience as their ticket to continued business service and operational continuity with proper planning, readiness and the ability to respond quickly to any threat or opportunity.

Whether an IT or business-related event or a natural disaster, the challenges that companies must prepare for are multitudinous. Focusing only on disasters leads organisations to work defensively, but a proactive approach to business resilience helps enable them to respond to an unexpected event more quickly and cost-effectively.

To get an idea as to whether a business is ready for the next threat, interruption or challenge, decision makers must ask themselves a few key questions:

Has the business recently experienced a disruption? What impact did it have on its operations?

What risks pose the greatest threat to its continuous business operations?

Are the business operations sufficiently scalable to accommodate a major increase in workload, in response to a spike in demand for its services?

How does the organisation’s current recovery capacity match its peak business processing

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