The BCI has published a new report, Resilience in Conflict. Sponsored by International SOS, this looks at how conflicts in regions around the world are affecting organizations, how organizations manage resilience during periods of conflict, and the role of technology in this process.
61.7 percent of organizations surveyed for the report are currently affected by the impacts of conflict. Of this proportion, a majority (74.8 percent) say they are experiencing secondary impacts, but without physical involvement in the conflict itself. Therefore, beyond considering the primary effects of a conflict, it is critical that organizations also consider the ripple effect of conflict on operations.
Impact areas highlighted in the report include the resiliency of supply chains and the rising cost of energy. Other concerns highlighted include damage to critical infrastructure, as well as staff shortages caused by military call-ups, relocations for safety reasons, and site shutdowns.
The report examines the effect of these impacts on organizations, with 32.8 percent of organizations having to alter their operational model due to conflict and 31 percent having to shut down operations entirely as a preventative measure. If based in multiple countries, some of the measures taken may even temporarily impact an organization’s ability to operate in certain geographies.
However, the complexities of modern warfare and its impacts are also being considered by some organizations, with almost half of participants reporting that they now have access to mental health and wellbeing services – a clear requirement during such a crisis. In addition, among the main protocols to protect staff during conflicts such as international evacuation and relocation from high-risk areas, just over half of the participants are now also considering cyber and IT arrangements as part of the protocol to protect staff in armed conflict areas. This shows the growing importance of cyber resilience in a landscape where the strategies of hybrid warfare are increasingly deployed.
Organizational responsibility and the role of business continuity teams during conflict
Looking in more detail at which teams are activated to mitigate the impacts of conflict, 36.7 percent of respondents include business continuity management in the response while 61.3 percent include crisis management.
A positive finding of this report is that the relationship between business continuity management and crisis management within organizations was widely found to be effective, at a rating of 76.7 percent. It is, of course, critical that this relationship remains effective throughout the organization’s response to a conflict in order to ensure the efficiency and agility required to make the right decisions during a crisis situation.
Other key findings:
- Risk perception is among the main challenges to implementing resilience in conflict areas – with it being a concern for 36.8 percent of participants. These respondents suggest there is too much focus on other major disruptive events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which may deflect attention away from the impact of conflict on organizations.
- Only 50.6 percent of organizations conduct a screening of staff before they are sent to areas potentially subject to conflict. Of those organizations who do screen staff, security, health checks, and cultural assessments may be conducted.
- Of those organizations which use software to keep operations resilient in conflict areas, 50 percent use crisis communications, and another 50 percent rely on cyber and information security technology.