What is Operational Resilience?

Definition: Operational resilience refers to extending business continuity management programs to address the consequences of potential disruptions in delivering products or services to internal and external stakeholders, including employees, customers, citizens, and partners. This involves considering the interconnected risks and determining the organization's tolerance levels for such disruptions.


Operational Resilience explained

The ability of an organization to adapt, respond, and recover from disruptions or unforeseen events while maintaining continuous business operations is referred to as operational resilience. It entails a comprehensive risk management approach that includes identifying possible threats and weaknesses, developing risk mitigation methods, and ensuring that important business processes and services can withstand and recover from disruptions.

In recent times, the concept of operational resilience has become increasingly crucial due to the intricate and interconnected nature of global business operations. Furthermore, the rising frequency and severity of diverse risks, including cyberattacks, natural disasters, pandemics, supply chain problems, and changes to regulations, have highlighted the need for organizations to prioritize and strengthen their operational resilience.
These initiatives coordinate risk assessment management, risk monitoring, and control execution across the following risk domains used in the business delivery and value realization process: workforce, processes, facilities, technology (IT, OT, IoT), and third parties: 

  • Continuity of operations
  • Security (cyber and physical)
  • Safety
  • Privacy
  • Reliability

The goal of operational resilience is to proactively identify potential issues before they arise and build contingency plans to either mitigate their impact or ensure that the organization can recover quickly. There are four stages associated with operational resilience:

  • Anticipating potential issues - Organizations must proactively identify events that are most likely to occur and pose a danger to their operational continuity.
  • Developing Preventive Measures: Once risks are identified, organizations can formulate plans to address and mitigate these risks. Different levels of resilience may be required, with straightforward events possibly handled through redundant systems and automated processes, while more severe scenarios like the destruction of a data center may demand more complex solutions.
  • Response and Recovery: When an event occurs, the organization should promptly put its preventive strategies into action to manage the situation effectively.
  • Adaptation to Circumstances: After addressing the event, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the implemented plan's success and consider potential modifications for future instances.

Operational resilience is a critical tool for supporting organizations in dealing with adversity. Every organization has obstacles throughout the course of its operations, which can range from workforce issues to natural disasters that interrupt their facilities and make routine business operations impossible. 

Identifying vulnerabilities and dedicating effort to building a strong foundation, effectively enables organizations to prepare for and recover from disruptions, hence reducing their impact.

Utimaco provides a public warning suite of products that cater for governments, enterprises, and other entities.

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