Operational Resilience; Digital Transformation, the Pandemic and Survival
Today, nearly every business depends in some way on digital technology and connectivity in order to operate and digital transformation has led to fundamental change in the way business is done. What was once the work of human operators at either end of a paper-based process is now entrusted to automation and decisions triggered by machine-to-machine communications. Data signals from the IOT may be feeding the automated process. Machine learning and artificial intelligence may be applied to make the process more proficient. And any part of these transformed processes may be enabled by technology and services provided by third parties. There is no denying the benefits of these changes but neither can the accompanying risks be denied and as a result, digital transformation is driving businesses to revisit, redefine and update their operational resilience programs.
Digital Transformation is also having a profound and continuing impact on the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) programs. GRC factors have changed and will continue to evolve. That means yesterday’s operational resilience programs must change to suit. And in as much as the changes are largely driven by technology, perhaps it makes sense that the management of IT risk specifically has tended to consume the lion’s share of the attention and resources. But with this lop-sided focus on IT risk, many businesses have let their operational resilience guard down.
And there’s another kind of transformation taking place.
It has taken a pandemic to remind us that risks too can undergo transformation. They change shape, arrive on new hosts and manifest in unexpected ways. The pandemic has opened our eyes to the breadth and depth of the possibilities that operational resilience programs must cover. Some risks, including those that accompany a wide-spread public health crisis, will always be beyond a business’ ability to control, transfer, mitigate or prevent, but businesses can implement programs that greatly if not completely reduce the impact of even the most challenging risk events and thereby ensure their ability to continue to operate, come what may.
Businesses must be aware and prepared to meet the new challenges. This paper is offers insights and guidance for the journey toward a new operational resilience.