Small- and medium-sized businesses have had to adjust their business continuity plans to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. From setting up remote work arrangements to migrating workloads to the cloud, companies have had their hands full ensuring that business operations return to normal quickly. But despite the need to put greater focus on business continuity, SMBs should still keep their eye on achieving business resilience.
How do these two concepts differ?
Business continuity vs. business resilience
Business continuity (BC) refers to an organization’s capability to continue service or product delivery within an acceptable time frame following a disruption. A disruption can be anything that breaks a structured workflow, including events such as experiencing IT-related downtime or a natural disaster, or losing a top employee to a competitor. BC entails anticipating such disruptions and having a plan to secure the continuation of business operations should any of them materialize.
On the other hand, business resilience is a loftier goal. It is not merely about an organization being able to continue operations, but also its capability to adapt to a changing environment so that it can guarantee its survival and prosperity in the face of unexpected challenges. For SMBs like yours, business resilience means taking a blow and quickly recovering from it because you have the mechanisms in place to absorb the hit without incurring significant operational damage.
Business continuity can be seen as the precursor to business resilience; the latter builds on the principles of BC to further enhance an organization’s immunity, anticipate and fend off risks, and recover more quickly.
How can your SMB achieve business resilience?
Traditional risk management practices can be rigid, disjointed, and out of date, thus preventing businesses from recovering swiftly when a disruption strikes. True business resilience requires changing one’s perspective and taking disruptions as a given rather than a possibility.
The following factors are critical in building business resilience:
- A committed leadership – There must be a mandate that ensures leaders and managers are committed to enhancing business resilience so that the protocols remain intact even if core decision-makers change. Higher-ups must lead the company in developing a governance structure that guarantees the effective coordination of activities related to resilience, such as drafting risk management strategies or implementing new technologies that secure business continuity. Leaders must also foster a company culture that highlights a shared vision and purpose, which consequently eases resilience coordination efforts across different departments.
- A system of implementation – Having a system that supports the implementation of business resilience strategies allows the company to gauge the plan’s success as well as its weaknesses. It’s also necessary to implement mechanisms that ensure investments in resilience activities are appropriate for the business context and will yield positive results. There should also be rules for evaluating and enhancing resilience plans to keep these updated, relevant, and effective.
- Adequate resources – Resilience efforts will not succeed if there are no investments in two key elements: human resources and technology. It’s critical that your employees receive training on how to secure themselves and their workload when certain disruptions occur. They must understand their role in the whole process, while management must be able to maximize their staff’s diverse skills, experience, and knowledge to help the business bounce back after a calamitous event.
Leveraging the right technology will also enable your SMB to effectively adapt and respond to change. One way to do this is to use data analytics tools to operationalize the information you have on risk and compliance. This will empower you to quickly analyze an incident and formulate the best response.
Secure business continuity and achieve business resilience with XBASE Technologies’ Exponentially Better™ services. Our wide range of IT offerings is guaranteed to ensure business survival, whether you need optimized systems to eliminate downtime or automatic backups to secure workloads when a disaster strikes. We also offer professional IT services, including strategic consulting, so you can have an expert eye overseeing project implementation and technology investments. Be more resilient — drop us a line to get started.