Resilience is now an “unavoidable topic for boardroom agendas” due to new regulation, finds BCI 

The BCI has launched the 2022 edition of its Continuity & Resilience Report, which looks at how business continuity (BC) & resilience are perceived within organisations across different industry sectors in the face of a rapidly evolving risk landscape.

Business continuity is still being viewed as occupying more of a strategic position in organisations 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 risk and business continuity teams were to understand how to increase the resilience of organisations 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 organisation to overcome shocks.

However, as some organisations start to bring in teams dedicated to organisational 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 BC to become more of a strategic asset.  

Resilience responsibilities at board level

Fewer respondents stated that a board-level role responsible for promoting and co-ordinating resilience efforts had been created and occupied in their organisation than the previous year.

However, this can partly be attributed to the development of regulations and dedicating other roles on the board to ensure that the organisation 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).

Following the development of new ways of working, partly stimulated by the pandemic, around 96.7% of organisations 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. 

For those organisations which 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.

“This report shows this attention [to business continuity management] has continued to remain in many organisations [since the start of the pandemic], which, coupled with the increased regulatory attention on operational resilience, means resilience is now an unavoidable topic for boardroom agendas,” said Rachael Elliott, head of Thought Leadership, The BCI.

”As a result of these changes, practitioners are now finding they have to be communicators and collaborators, as well as becoming more agile and adaptive in their approach – in addition to remaining experts in the more ‘traditional’ aspects of BC. Indeed, most practitioners believe that the role of the BIA is now more important than ever - it is the spine of a resilient organisation.”