Risk is more often than not the driving force behind uncertainty in any business. After all, businesses face all kinds of challenges. From cyber threats, right down to natural phenomenons.
That is why it is so important to have an adaptable continuity plan as a business.
After all, things happen. Certain projects may fall through. Natural disasters could hit one of your brick and mortar locations. Although, it’s not exactly what you want to do, sometimes as a business you will need to, “Go with the flow.”
That is where resilience strategies come into the picture.
Not sure what I am talking about yet? Don’t worry, through this article, I will explain exactly what these strategies are, and how you can implement them into your operations.
What Exactly Are Business Resilience Strategies?
I was actually rather shocked at how complicated they make business resiliency seem. In layman’s terms it’s really just the ability to deal with risks, and big-time problems that may disrupt your everyday workflow.
Think about it as a plan for when your power goes off while cooking, how do you continue preparing a tasty meal? That would be your resilience strategy right there.
Essentially, business resilience strategies fall under continuity management, and risk management. Which is why your strategies should include:
- Processes to reduce or mitigate the risk completely.
- The ability to plan for contingency. I.e preparing for the risk to happen.
- Recovery (business resumption).
- And finally business resilience (your infrastructure for adaptability and dealing with risks)
First: Develop A Risk Mitigation Plan
When you are dealing with risks, the first thing you want to do is try lessen the risk. For example, if you know the power is going off – do you have a backup generator? Does it have enough fuel? You get the picture.
As a business, disasters tend to be a bit more serious. When identifying risks, you need to break them down into three categories:
- Business driven risks.
- Data driven risks.
- Event driven risks.
The first thing is you want to understand the reach and range the risk has against your business, and your daily operations. That includes both inside the company, as well as externally (for example public relations).
The next step is to determine exactly how you can mitigate the risk. For example, natural disasters may pose a risk to customer information, security, and safety. Determine exactly how to deal with each of these elements to protect not only your business but also your customers.
Finally determine your resilience strategy. How exactly can you ensure that even if this risk comes to pass, you will be able to continue with your operations? What steps can you take to ensure continuity even in the worst case scenario?
Second: Break Down Each Department
If the risk is unavoidable, you need to have a procedure in place that will integrate into your business security to ensure that it will have a mitigated impact on the business. Remember, you need to develop a plan for everything imaginable.
That means you need to consider natural disasters, terrorism, cyber threats, and even, you guessed it – power failures.
If the risk is unavoidable, you need to break down each department, and the adverse effects the risk will have on them.
- Your strategy and vision.
- Your organizational structure in entirety.
- The processes you already have in place for daily operations.
- Applications and data (important to protect)
- Resilience strategies for your IT department and tech.
- And finally, facilities. Such as brick and mortar locations.
Third: Don’t Forget About Your Third-Party Vendors
In a 2015 study, it was shown that the market cap for outsourcing was $88.99 billion. With the latest developments in technology, that number is only shooting up.
We have just figured out adequate measures to take against natural phenomenons, internal disruptions, market crisis, and of course, interruption of services. But have you taken the time to consider what you will do if you encounter a problem with your third-party service provider.
It could be anything, really. From courier companies to deliver your products, to your hosting company for your database, and web-based assets. You need to come up with a strategy to backup potential problems that could disrupt these services.
It is also a good idea to consider looking for backup providers (after all, the business world is fickle). This will help you stay operating as normal even if you are forced to end the relationship between yourself and a third-party service that you are outsourcing to.