FEATURED STORY OF THE WEEK
Achieving Business Resilience with Key Technologies and Services
Amid economic volatility and an evolving technology landscape, companies must leverage a mixture of technologies and services to reach a state of business resilience. Indeed, reliance upon technologies like cloud computing, cybersecurity tools, and data management tools has become an operational necessity.
Outsourcing services such as cybersecurity also play an essential role in reducing marketplace risks. According to TechTarget, “Outsourcing business resilience services is not a new concept, but in the last 10 years, it has improved. BC/DR (business continuity and disaster recovery) offerings today are more sophisticated than in years past and typically cloud-based, making them available to most firms.”
Through a strategic blend of technology adoption and outsourcing, firms can effectively navigate uncertain business terrains while ensuring sustainability.
Here’s how it works.
What Does Business Resilience Look Like?
Business resilience refers to an organization’s ability to rapidly adapt and respond to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations, safeguarding people and assets, and upholding brand equity. It is the organization’s fortitude to bounce back quickly from challenges such as cyber-attacks, natural disasters, or an abrupt economic downturn.
Business resilience in an organization manifests as a proactive and strategic approach, rather than a reactive one. It involves anticipating potential disruptions and planning the appropriate response rather than scrambling to find solutions when issues occur.
This often results in minimized downtime, saved costs, and preserved customer trust.
In terms of structure, business resiliency rests on four key pillars:
- Risk Management: This involves identifying, assessing, and preparing for any risks that could disrupt operations. It requires an intimate understanding of the company’s operations and the potential external and internal threats it may face.
- Incident Response: This pillar focuses on how a company responds to incidents when they occur. This includes having a robust incident response plan that outlines the actions to take, who is responsible for them, and how to communicate during the incident.
- Business Continuity: This aspect ensures that an organization can continue to function during a disruption and recover to an operational state within a reasonably short period. It includes measures such as having backup systems and data redundancy.
- Disaster Recovery: This pillar primarily focuses on IT and involves restoring critical systems, applications, and data from a disaster or outage. With the growing dependence on technology for operations, having a solid disaster recovery plan is a must for every organization.
While this framework may appear simple, achieving it requires a mix of internal capabilities, technologies, and outsourced services.
According to McKinsey & Company, “There will always be more uncertainty, more change, and a constant push for teams to realize outcomes more quickly. The companies that cultivate organizational resilience—driven not only by crisis but also by opportunity—can gain an important, lasting advantage over competitors.”
Critical Technologies for Achieving Business Resilience
Here are some of the most critical technologies for achieving business resilience.
Cloud technology is foundational to business resilience. It enables businesses to store data and run applications on remote servers, offering unparalleled flexibility and scalability. Cloud services can quickly scale up or down according to the business needs, ensuring that organizations can continue to operate even during peak times or heavy loads.
The cloud also provides redundancy — if one server or data center fails, the data is still accessible from another location, ensuring business continuity.
The key benefits of cloud technology in ensuring business resilience include:
- Scalability: Cloud services can easily be scaled up or down to match the needs of the business.
- Redundancy: Data is replicated across multiple locations, providing a backup in case of a server or data center failure.
- Cost-effectiveness: Cloud services often operate on a pay-as-you-go model, saving businesses the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own servers.
Cybersecurity tools play a crucial role in protecting the business from both external and internal cyber threats. As businesses become more digital, they are increasingly targeted by bad actors, botnets, and other dangers. Cybersecurity tools help to protect an organization’s digital assets by detecting, preventing, and responding to cyber threats.
These tools can include firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and encryption tools.
Here’s how they contribute to business resilience:
- Threat Detection: Cybersecurity tools can detect threats in real-time, allowing businesses to respond swiftly and minimize damage.
- Prevention: These tools can prevent attacks by blocking malicious traffic and quarantining harmful files.
- Incident Response: In the event of a security breach, cybersecurity tools can help businesses understand what happened and how to prevent future attacks.
Data Management Tools
Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses. Therefore, ensuring its accuracy, accessibility, and security is vital for business resilience.
Data management tools help businesses collect, store, protect, and analyze their data. They can improve decision-making, increase operational efficiency, and reduce the risk of data breaches.
The role of data management tools in business resilience includes:
- Data Integrity: These tools can validate and clean data to ensure that it is accurate and reliable.
- Data Security: Data management tools can protect data from unauthorized access and breaches.
- Data Analysis: By analyzing data, these tools can provide valuable insights to drive business decision-making.
Workflow Automation Tools
Workflow automation tools enable businesses to streamline and automate their processes. This reduces the risk of human error, freeing up employees’ time to focus on higher-value tasks.
Automation tools can include robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent document processing (IDP), and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) systems.
They contribute to business resilience in the following ways:
- Efficiency: Workflow automation tools can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of human error.
- Cost Savings: By automating routine tasks, businesses can save on labor costs.
- Scalability: Automation tools can easily be scaled up or down to match the organization’s needs.
Although this technology is still in its early stages, it is quickly becoming an important tool for data and market analysis. AI can analyze vast amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and make predictions. This enables businesses to make more informed decisions and quickly adapt to changing market conditions.
AI can also be used for predictive maintenance to identify potential failures before they occur, preventing costly downtime. Additionally, AI-enabled chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, improving customer experience and maintaining business operations in the event staff aren’t available.
The role of AI in achieving business resilience includes:
- Data Analysis: AI can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and trends, providing valuable insights for decision-making.
- Predictive Maintenance: By predicting potential risks and even equipment failures, AI can prevent costly downtime.
- Continuous Operations: Programs powered by AI can provide round-the-clock services, ensuring uninterrupted business operations.
Key Services for Achieving Business Resilience
Apart from critical technologies, businesses also rely on outsourced services to achieve resilience. These can include cybersecurity services, business continuity planning, and disaster recovery services.
Here’s how they help organizations build resilience:
- Cybersecurity Services: Outsourcing cybersecurity helps businesses stay ahead of constantly evolving cyber threats and ensures that their data is secure.
- Business Continuity Planning: These services help organizations prepare for and respond to potential disruptions, minimizing losses and downtime.
- Disaster Recovery Services: In the event of a disaster, these services can help businesses recover critical systems and data quickly, ensuring business continuity.
- Analytics and Big Data Services: By analyzing data and identifying market trends, these services can help businesses make informed decisions and quickly adapt to changing market conditions.
- Cloud Services Management: Outsourcing cloud management can ensure that businesses take full advantage of cloud technology while avoiding unnecessary costs and risks.
Combining some or all these services is a turnkey strategy for getting proactive about resilience. Although some companies may wish to handle some of these capabilities internally, outsourcing them will allow the business to gain the benefits of resilience without taking on unnecessary costs.
Technology Alone Won’t Lead to Resilience
A study by the World Economic Forum found that just 5% of companies didn’t expect to experience a crisis in the near future. Companies must operate under the assumption that crises will happen, not that they might happen.
Relying on technology alone is not enough to achieve business resilience. Businesses must also invest in services that support their operations and protect them from potential threats.
By leveraging these tools and capabilities, businesses can build resilience, remain competitive, and adapt to changing market conditions successfully.
To learn more about how you can make your company more resilient, contact us at Uvation today.