​Horizon scanning is essential in your resilience tool kit

Blog post   •   Dec 03, 2015 12:37 GMT

Getting to resilience as a desired state for your organization requires strategic input and decisive leadership. As a multi-disciplinary endeavour, business continuity practitioners are in an excellent position to contribute towards organizational resilience due to their knowledge of business risks and threats, as well as their response and recovery capabilities. BC practitioners also have the tools required to influence top management outlook on risk – horizon scanning is one of those tools essential towards building resilience.

The annual BCI Horizon Scan Report, when read alongside your in-house analysis, is an immensely useful resource in this regard. Having the opportunity to share its findings at events worldwide over the last year, I have encountered many professionals who have used the report in conversations with their senior management. Some of the findings that resonate with professionals I have spoken to are the following:

  • There is an increasing concern about cyber attacks as it is now ranked first among the threats listed in the 2015 survey, having risen from third in 2013 to second in 2014. Incidents in the last 12 months involving large organizations such as Sony and TalkTalk reinforces this concern and much discussion focuses on building resilience in this space;
  • Supply chain disruption has risen 11 places from 16th to 5th as one of the most important concerns for practitioners. Other BCI research supports this as 14% of organizations claim losing at least €1M due to supply chain disruption. In the retail sector for example, 18% have invoked their plans in the last 12 months due to this type of incident;
  • Investment levels for BC are up for almost a quarter (23%) of organizations surveyed with 55% maintaining their BC spend. This is a powerful metric which helps justifies the business case for BC and its important contribution towards resilience.

All of these findings would not be possible if not for your contributions. Your inputs as professionals in the front line are essential in helping us as a community influence our business leaders to make resilience part of their agenda. As we gear up for the next BCI Horizon Scan Report, I highly encourage you to spare a few minutes of your time, share your thoughts and respond to the survey. As an essential part of your practitioner tool kit, responses to this global horizon scanning exercise will ultimately help your efforts in making your organizations more resilient.

Patrick Alcantara DBCI is the Senior Research Associate for the Business Continuity Institute. He is a senior research practitioner with extensive publication and project management experience, having delivered research for organisations such as Zurich, BSI and the UK Department of Business Innovation & Skills. He is part of the Editorial Board of the international, peer-reviewed Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning. He recently finished his Diploma in Business Continuity Management from Bucks New University and was awarded a Distinction for a Masters by the Institute of Education (now University College London) and Deusto University.