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New sources of disruption demand resilience

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Organisations need to create, implement and manage a business resilience strategy that centres on identifying and mitigating prioritised risks across the enterprise.

So said Sehume Motswenyane, senior manager, cyber security at Ernst & Young Advisory Services, speaking at the ITWeb Business Continuity 2015 conference in Johannesburg yesterday.

Resilience enables the investment in business continuity management (BCM) to be fully leveraged and optimised, improving the ability to respond to rapid onset, high impact threats not traditionally covered by BCM, said Motswenyane.

Resilience helps organisations resist as well as react to threats, reshape environments, and survive both foreseen and unforeseen risks, he said.

New sources of disruptions mean organisations need to increase resilience of their processes and systems, said Motswenyane, adding they need to recover faster and more cleverly from disruptions.

He pointed out the processes organisations perform to respond to disruptive threats should enhance the level of consumer trust in the organisation.

Customers and business partners are becoming less tolerant of service outages - they expect that protective measures are already in place, said Motswenyane.

If a business fails to resume operations quickly following a major disruptive event, it can face loss of revenue, market share, customer trust and reputation, he added.

He noted progressive organisations are seeking innovative ways to create more flexible approaches to managing unforeseeable risks which integrate 'perform-' and 'protect'-related corporate strategies to achieve sustainable long-term success.

Traditional risk management and BCM, while valuable and important, tend to be considered the responsibility of a few specialised staff within corporate silos, said Motswenyane.

Also, migrating workloads to the cloud does not automatically provide resilience and continuous operations capabilities, he continued.

According to Motswenyane, resilience should build upon and leverage organisational investment in BCM - resilience incorporates BCM at its core. A BCM solution is foundational to any efforts to establish a resilient organisation, he added.

Therefore, organisations should develop a 'one-in, all-in' organisational culture and commitment which emphasises the value of both 'explore' and 'exploit' capabilities in achieving resilient operations and agile innovation, said Motswenyane.

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