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What is business resilience and why is it more important than ever?

Posted: 2 June 2021
business resilience infographic

Take the time to think about all the different possible scenarios a business may face, even the events that couldn't be predicted in the first place.

Create playbooks for the most likely scenario, whether that’s a cyber event, terrorism attack or a network outage. Spend time working out what next steps would be needed in some of these scenarios. 

During the pandemic, businesses that did well and thrived were the ones that communicated. Being able to explain to customers and supply chains where challenges are being faced and asking for help or for patience allowed them to stay in operation with an understanding from stakeholders. 

Empowering employees and establishing more dynamic and agile teams is very important. 

The core idea here is to really enable your organisation to be able to trigger rapid decision making. In traditional organisations this is a bit more difficult because decisions are usually escalated upwards. Having empowered employees means quicker reaction times and flexibility to weather the storm. 

It’s probably not a surprise to hear IT companies reporting that businesses invested 43 times faster than normal in working from home capabilities in 2020. This could have been for planning or digital tools to enable effective remote working collaboration.

But it’s also important to invest in client services too. Ensuring your workforce has proficient digital channels to interact with customers is key. This should be strengthened even further heading into the future to continue building relationships with customers.

It’s important that businesses maintain clear communication so everyone knows what part they play. It’s also vital to maintain business behaviours that keep the supply chain together, such as paying on time. 

From a customer's perspective, they may not be aware that a business has chosen to outsource something to another person. But a business is only as strong as the weakest link in the delivery chain. So when talking to suppliers ensure questions are asked about their resilience, how they plan and test for different scenarios and what their results are. 

Cyber protection is another key area where all businesses need to ensure their providers and suppliers have the right measures in place. Suppliers third or fourth down the chain may be a way for cyber criminals to find ways to get into a business.

In addition to a working from home infrastructure, investing in other technologies is key. 

Give some thought as to what happens if it goes down? Ensuring that there’s a backup plan or failover plan if systems fail is really important. Technology and back-up plans can be expensive but can your business take the risk if something were to happen? 

It’s also imperative for businesses to think about aspects like cloud infrastructure for collaboration, process automation and advanced data analytics.

Listen to our Business Resilience episode of our Insurance Tomorrow podcast. Our Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie Smith discusses the topic with experts from McKinsey and Company and the British Chambers of Commerce. 

You can find the episode on your usual podcast app or via the link.

Commentary and guidance in this article are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to amount to advice on which reliance should be placed.  Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this article.