Operational resilience is nothing but a concerted effort to anticipate, prevent, respond, and adapt to challenges faced by an organization. To be resilient is to withstand any and all scenarios that could impact an organization’s ability to smoothly run operations while overcoming challenges along the way. Especially today, with unprecedented pandemic-related events that have disrupted businesses all over the world, organizations are justifiably worried about emerging threats of risk and business continuity impact.
ServiceNow GRC platform offers Operational Resilience Management services that empower organizations to function optimally even in adverse conditions. This includes inclement weather, cyber threats such as hacking, natural disasters, accidental fires, and pandemics. It also provides a clear picture of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses from the comprehensive data procured from different sources.
4-step Approach To Achieve Operational Resilience
ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management offers a clear roadmap for the administrators and the business continuity managers to adopt a step-by-step approach. This helps them cultivate their data instinct and create processes to use the data towards greater resilience.
Now, while there are four steps in the operational resilience lifecycle, it is a continuous process that needs to be improved on a timely basis. It includes anticipating, preventing, responding and recovering, and adapting to ensure that the organization is safe from potential hazards of any kind.
Step 1 – Anticipate
Disasters can strike unexpectedly and impact different areas of the organization. Neither the source of the disaster nor the affected area is predictable. For instance, it could have adverse effects on the teams, services, or processes implemented in the organization. Anticipating these challenges becomes an arduous task when data is decentralized or incomplete, or when organizational tools are in silos. Disjointed infrastructure will make it difficult to decipher impending risks. By the time one can prioritize and act, it may be too late. Simply put, organizational resources will send time and energy just to put out fires wherever they can. It pays to have an clear governance that can guide the organization with clear dashboards to make smart decisions.
To avoid such situations, ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management offers the ability to analyze a what-if scenario. With greater understanding through the what-if analysis, organizations can be forewarned and can anticipate potential problems to plan for possible outcomes. Expecting what may happen and how it is to be handled goes a long way in making sound decisions to protect and prioritize areas at risk and plan accordingly.
Step 2 – Prevent
Businesses, be it mid-sized or large enterprises, have procedures in place. However, they are generally designed for efficiency. They may not include factors such as governance, risk, or compliance. This leads to businesses relying heavily on manual processes and course correction. In the face of unexpected scenarios, such procedures leave a lot to be desired. They are not preventative measures. Instead, they are purely defensive. Businesses that operate in this manner can find themselves in hot water from an unexpected area just when they are busy handling the immediately apparent risks. Fragments of data, manual processes, and disparate business units can block the much-needed warnings of potential risks.
With enterprise GRC solutions, businesses can establish controls that will help mitigate potential problems ahead of time to have appropriate solutions in place. These controls play a significant role in risk mitigation by establishing risk indicators and being proactive. Having risk and compliance-related activities incorporated into the daily workflow and keeping them connected throughout the enterprise enables organizational efficiency with minimal effort.
GRC integrated risk management and automated processes with a centralized data repository can lead to the effective functioning of the organization as a whole. Policies and procedures incorporated across the board, with continuous monitoring results in immediate and intelligent incident response.
Step 3 – Respond/Recover
Many organizations are structured to leave little to no room for safe and timely responses when faced with adversities. Communication is usually the first area that breaks down. It includes internal communication between business units and communication with vendors and suppliers. Hasty decisions can make things worse because of incomplete or outdated data.
Businesses need continuity plans to stop a situation from escalating beyond control. A large part of continuity plans lies in continuous monitoring. A tried and tested recovery plan will lead to the quickest response towards complete recovery. Being a tested plan ensures that all risks are vastly reduced, requiring less time for recovery. ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management allows businesses to create continuity plans to enable seamless response and recovery towards risk mitigation.
Step 4: Adapt
ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management helps you recover from adversities quicker and stronger. Unfortunately, at the time of difficult events, it is rare to see it as an opportunity for learning and growth. However, they are both. They allow businesses to develop stronger preventative measures and be prepared for the next occasion that demands a proactive response.
They also show a clear approach to adapt to unexpected scenarios. Learning to adapt makes for easier recovery and minimized risks. Each adverse incident may be new in the beginning. But they offer opportunities for growth and an ability to add experience to the learning curve.
A more collaborative path to progress
Making progress in any of the previous steps of the lifecycle, anticipation, prevention, and responding/recovering makes adapting easier. Learning about the dependencies and the need for coordination between business units can set the stage for businesses to work cohesively.
This is where ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management comes into force. It ensures that all data is collected and stored in a centralized repository, analyzed, and communicated to the respective teams through an automated process. The transparency of the process with its history empowers the business stakeholders to effect improvements where necessary to optimize the organization’s overall performance.
When departments or business units work together, using workflows on a single platform, they pave the way for a proactive and practical mindset and achieve operational resiliency. With the integrated approach offered by ServiceNow Operational Resilience Management, businesses can be empowered to adapt and grow – without being disrupted by unexpected changes.
Joshua is a process improvement thought leader and digital transformation expert. Over the past 15 years, Joshua has focused his career on achieving organizational maturity and enhancing business processes through implementing tools and workflows to drive transformation initiatives. With experience in multiple verticals from manufacturing to healthcare, Joshua brings a practitioner’s perspective when working on business solutions and goals to allow him to advise and guide on industry and process best practices.
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