Geo-politics is a business risk too.
By Michael Davies, CEO, ContinuitySA
The final set of risks relate to geo-politics and, in particular, terrorism. Our team recognised that these are risks that are largely out of companies’ control, but they need to understand them and have mitigation plans in place.
We decided to include these risks particularly because Africa seems to be more and more vulnerable to them, terrorism in particular. It comes at a time when South African businesses, in particular, are looking to expand north in order to achieve the growth that is so elusive domestically. Unfortunately, many of the continent’s most attractive markets are also increasingly theatres for political violence. Kenya and Nigeria are two cases in point, with Al Shabaab active in the former, and Boko Haram in the latter.
Don’t forget that this risk applies also to your supply chain
Companies attracted by these markets must therefore take the time and trouble to understand the risks they pose, and put contingency plans in place. The safety of employees is of particular concern, and the threat of kidnap is also real. Companies have a well-established Duty of Care to their employees which does not end when at a border.
This is a highly specialised area, and it’s one in which the aid of specialists should be sought. Your insurance company is likely to be very helpful because the risk may be insured, and also your legal advisors would offer insight into what your obligations are. Both will have relationships with security companies that specialise in these types of risk, and who will possibly be able to offer information and counsel.
In conclusion, and looking at the five risks as a whole, we feel that it’s very important to consider the whole process of business continuity management, which underpins business resilience, in terms of your customers. You need to understand the extent to which they are relying on you, and thus on your ability to recover from a disaster.
On the plus side, positioning your company as a reliable partner, one that has taken the trouble to build resilience into its business model, can be an excellent marketing tool, and a way to build the company’s reputation in the market. The world is increasingly sensitive to risk, and partners that are seen be alive to risk are desirable.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.continuitysa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Michael-8-6400.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Michael Davies has been involved in the Business Continuity Industry for more than ten years, having spent the last twenty years in the IT Industry with companies such as Dimension Data, Enterprise Technologies, Amdahl, Computer Configurations and MGX. Michael has predominantly been on the financial side of business with the most recent progression in 2011 being from financial director to CEO of ContinuitySA in 2011. He has spoken on organisational resilience and BCM at various conferences and heads up the largest independent BCM supplier in Southern Africa. Michael completed a B.comm degree from the University of Natal and a MBA from the Henley College in the UK. He is an affiliate of the Business Continuity Institute based in London and a member of the Institute of Directors. [/author_info] [/author]