The BCI has published the 2022 edition of its Continuity & Resilience Report, sponsored this year by Riskonnect. The report looks at how business continuity and resilience are perceived within organizations across different industry sectors. It also examines the challenges these disciplines are facing amid the rise of new working environments.
The strategic position
Business continuity is still being viewed as occupying more of a strategic position in organizations than before the pandemic, despite the amount of people rating it as such slightly dipping from last year. The pandemic showcased to management how well-positioned business continuity teams were to understand how to increase the resilience of organizations by building relationships between departments, offering guidance about how new business strategies will work from a resilience perspective, and how effective the department is at helping the organization to overcome shocks. However, as some organizations start to bring in teams dedicated to organizational or operational resilience, there are some instances where the role of a business continuity manager has become more of an operational role again.
Despite this, respondents noted that an increased awareness of resilience processes and procedures is becoming the norm and, in some cases, this has provided a larger mandate for resilience and business continuity to become more of a strategic asset.
Resilience responsibilities at board level
In a reversal of pre-pandemic figures, 37.3 percent of respondents stated that a board-level role responsible for promoting and co-ordinating resilience efforts had been created and occupied in their organization, compared with 55.3 percent in 2021 and 31.4 percent in 2020. However, this can partly be attributed to the development of regulations and dedicating other roles on the board to ensure that the organization embeds a resilient culture.
For example, operational resilience is now either regulated or becoming regulated in many jurisdictions and these regulations ensure that related matters are typically reported to the chief operations officer. Silos are also being broken down elsewhere, with the report finding that direct lines to the board are being shortened, sometimes through a ‘head of resilience’, to a defined board member (CEO, COO or CRO).
New ways of working
Following the development of new ways of working, partly stimulated by the pandemic, around 96.7 percent of organizations are reporting that ‘at least some staff’ now expect the flexibility to work from home for some of the time. However, while remote working is likely to remain in some form, resilience in remote offices is lacking. While 37.3 percent of organizations introduced resiliency measures during the pandemic for remote workers, a third do not have these plans in place and a further 12.7 percent had no plans to introduce them.
For those organizations who introduced measures during the pandemic to increase resiliency and agile working, these included installing uninterruptable power sources in home offices, but also having smaller hubs around the country where workers can work in an office environment if needed.
Other key findings include:
- In some instances, soft skills are more likely to be considered ahead of academic qualifications in the interview process for a business continuity and resilience role.
- The business impact analysis (BIA) is still seen as one of the most critical instruments in the arsenal of a continuity practitioner.
- When looking at changes in the sector over the next five years, respondents felt the most likely change was increased senior management attention to business continuity and resilience, with 88.3 percent believing this would be of ‘much more’ or ‘more’ importance.