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8 Best Practices to Develop a Business Resilience Strategy

Resilience concept illustrated by a blue arrow made of balls

According to Gartner, by 2020 60% of businesses will suffer major service failures due to mismanagement of risk in new technology and use cases. This is why, in my last post, I suggested that the best way to deal with these risks is to commit to a strategy of resilience — “the capacity of an organization to plan for and adapt to change or disruption through anticipation, protection, responsive capacity, and recoverability.”

To get a sense of a resilient business in 2015, let’s start with where you want to end up.

What a resilient business looks like

A good deal of a business’ resiliency is indirectly related to technology — things like strong senior executive support, a willingness to challenge assumptions, commitment to transparency and collaboration, an organizational culture promoting continuous employee education, and sharing knowledge with a trusted network of organizations.

Other characteristics of an organization’s resilience are very much about technology. Resilient businesses…

  • Embrace technological innovation with due diligence, balancing the risks inherent in slow adoption (e.g., falling behind competitors, loss of reputation) with the risks of experimenting with innovations that turn out to be unsuccessful
  • Realize that because their growing reliance on hyper-connectivity and data assets exposes them to cyber criminals, they must proactively invest in constantly evolving, state-of-the-art security measures
  • Understand that the complexity of today’s technologies — mobility/BYOD/IoT (the Internet of Things), social media, cloud services, integration trends, big data, virtualization, etc. — demands an unprecedented level of automated, integrated, real-time monitoring and management.

Getting there: 8 best practices for better resilience

To begin developing a strategy of resilience…

  1. Identify what will make your business resilient, including organizational and technological factors as outlined above
  2. Determine how to measure those factors so you can build appropriate metrics into your key performance indicators (KPIs)
  3. Get proactive: set up extensive real-time monitoring and alert systems to measure performance and security stance, and to flag issues ASAP
  4. Establish procedures for evaluating technology innovations to determine whether your business should adopt them and how
  5. Base decisions on reliable independent data
  6. Build robust technology alliances that protect your confidential data and enable you to collaborate effectively
  7. Practice for disruption with regular and realistic testing of business continuity plans — and don’t forget that specific recovery plans are less useful and dynamic than the ability to create impromptu plans in response to unanticipated situations
  8. Help employees during disruptions, because without a resilient workforce you cannot expect to sustain a resilient business

Given today’s fast-changing and multi-layered technology landscape, you may well need expert help on your journey to resilience. A trusted technology advisor with extensive, vendor-neutral experience in security/privacy, business continuity/disaster recovery, compliance, and crisis communications can help.
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