The need to evolve has never been greater as business looks for ways to ensure sustainability in the face of a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).
By Lynette Smit, Senior Consultant: Advisory Services, ContinuitySA
Today’s VUCA world means that planning for the future must include developing the ability to adapt to any change, and recover from any disruption. Business continuity management, the primary tool for building the necessary organisational resilience, is itself under pressure to adapt in order to help organisations overcome this challenge.
A key driver of the changing business environment is the fact that digital technology, ICT and the availability of cloud-based systems has created a platform for 24/7 business—and a customer base that is intolerant of any downtime. The impacts of social media and cybercrime raise the stakes for all organisations.
It’s tempting to see technology as the solution to the challenge of ensuring resilience in the digital world, but many pitfalls must be negotiated. For example, the ability to work from home may seem to solve the problem of an inaccessible office, but ensuring employees have bandwidth, office equipment and a proper working space may involve significant unplanned expenses—and does not obviate the need for face-to-face meetings in many circumstances.
Similarly, What’s App might seem like a great solution to the need for emergency communication but there are challenges to take into account—not the least being the availability of signal, or employees’ willingness to use their data.
There are multiple other drivers of change, but one thing is certain: only fresh thinking and collaboration will ensure that business continuity professionals or organisations can continue to meet these challenges.