The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has released The Future of Business Continuity and Resilience Report 2021” takes a deep dive into the changes of the BC and resilience profession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report further highlights the evolution of homeworking and the many implications, risks – and advantages – this brings to an organization.
The spotlight shone on business continuity (BC) and resilience has seen professionals’ roles more respected and appreciated by senior management. Professionals are now more engaged in the strategic side of the business, with planning and process adapting to be better suited to the more agile nature of developing scenarios
Surveying 456 professionals from over 18 sectors across 64 countries around the globe, BC and resilience professionals reported that, following the pandemic, 59% of their role was ‘strategic’ and 41% of their role was ‘operational’. This is the first time a BCI survey has suggested that roles are now more involved in the strategic direction of the business rather than the operational side. Business Continuity has earnt the spotlight during the pandemic not only for their ability to provide strategic direction for the business, but for their breadth of knowledge about the business. This means senior management teams wanting to become much more closely aligned with business continuity and resilience departments.
The distant hope for a voice on the board has become a reality as board level roles for resilience have become more common. 70.2% of respondents in the 2021 report have said they have someone at the board and senior management level responsible for promoting resilience within the organization compared to 2020 where the figure 32.3%. Roles such as ‘Head of Resilience’ of ‘Chief Resilience Officer’ are becoming more widespread in organizations whereas only a year ago, such titles were seen as an impossibility in many organizations.
Flexible working has also presented resilience challenges, particularly as so few staff now want to remain in an office environment permanently. Whilst this could be considered a win by organizations to cut costs on unused space, it poses previously unheard of risks for BC and resilience professionals: is there enough infrastructure to support staff? What happens if there is a power or communications outage when a member of staff is working on a critical activity within their home environment?
The reality is, however, just 46.3% of homeworkers benefit from the same levels of resilience at home as they would in the office, whilst just 19.0% can enjoy the same levels of health and safety protection as they do in the office. The author of report and Head of Thought Leadership at the BCI, Rachael Elliott, thinks this poses major risks: “People working in a remote environment are very exposed and it is particularly worrying that 11.1% of respondents have no plans at all to apply the same standards of resilience to homeworkers as they do to those working in the office. That’s a real risk, not only to the business and processes failing, but also this could give rise to litigation cases particularly in regard to health and safety”.
The report also touched on the growing mental health pandemic, the importance of staff wellbeing and making planning and processes a more inclusive activity for the whole organization.
The report was authored by The BCI’s Head of Thought Leadership, Rachael Elliott and Writer and Analyst, David Lea. The report was sponsored by ResKube Limited.
Learn more and download the report here.