How to keep your company up and running when disaster strikes

Businesses are rethinking how they respond to crises, shifting the focus from reactive responses to the proactive approach of operational resilience.

From cyberattacks and geopolitical crises to global health hazards and natural disasters, the list of potential threats a company can face is long. Risk management professionals have tried to anticipate scenarios of what could go wrong, put controls in place, and have some recovery plans ready to go—but global events over the past few years have proven that organizations need a new, holistic approach if they want to keep operations running in today’s era of constant and unprecedented disruption. Now, businesses are increasingly prioritizing resiliency over recovery, with nearly 65% of firms implementing measures to increase operational resilience in 2022.

“Operational resilience is about fulfilling your promise to customers—no matter what,” says Rich Cooper, global head of the financial service go-to-market team at Fusion Risk Management, a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for operational resilience. “Whether you’re a large financial institution, a car manufacturer, or a pharmaceutical organization, to name just a few examples, you are providing services or goods to the market. And resilience, at its broadest, is the ability to continue to deliver.”

Rich Cooper, Global Head of Financial Service Go-To-Market at Fusion Risk Management According to Cooper, achieving true operational resilience requires a data-driven approach. Armed with the right insights, business leaders can anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and learn from crises while minimizing the impact of business disruptions. This is the foundation of the Fusion Framework® System™, Fusion Risk Management’s leading solution that offers a holistic view of business operations in one integrated platform, allowing companies to break down silos, automate processes, and transform data into actionable insights. As a result, organizations can proactively mitigate issues, rehearse response scenarios, identify critical services, and more. 

“The software helps enterprises understand how all their assets come together,” says Cooper. “It might seem like a simple process, but it is a complex “team sport”: There is an HR department looking after the company’s people, an IT team looking after the technology, relationship managers looking after vendors, and people trying to run their respective parts of their businesses. Fusion allows teams to look at that data in aggregate format and understand what they depend on to run different parts of their businesses.”

In March 2021, a container ship blocked the Suez Canal, causing a large electronics manufacturing company to have a shipment of parts delayed. However, because of Fusion’s software, it was able to avert a supply chain incident that would have resulted in product delivery delays. Through the Fusion platform, the company was able to determine which parts on the ship were critical to production, allowing it to focus efforts on finding alternative parts to keep business operations moving. In the end, this insight enabled the company to fulfill its promise to customers without going into reactive recovery mode. 

The Suez Canal incident may not have been avoidable, but the impact to the electronics company was—and that is what a proactive approach to operational resilience looks like.

“No company is 100% resilient. Things are always going to happen,” says Cooper. “But moving businesses closer towards resilience and away from recovery mode is where we’re trying to take them. This will not only help companies navigate through times of disruption, but it will ultimately drive business success.”