Critical Event Management, Risk Management

Organizations That Effectively Identify and Respond to Risk Have This in Common

By Sarah Perry

Everyone likes to believe they’re prepared for every possible situation – a fire, pandemic, cyberattack or anything else that may come your way. But if you take a long, hard look at your risk management strategies, are you really ready for anything?

The hard truth is: Many organizations’ risk management programs aren’t keeping pace with the dynamics of today’s threat landscape. Even more worrying, many are still operating in organizational and technology silos, making an effective crisis response harder.

Yet, ensuring your core critical event management (CEM) capabilities are proactive and comprehensive can be the deciding factor in whether you’re ready to handle a crisis or if you’ll be down for the count.

In fact, organizations with successful risk responses have well-developed CEM proficiencies in four key areas: Risk intelligence, critical communications, incident management and 360-degree visibility, according to a new Forrester Consulting study commissioned by OnSolve.

What does it look like when an organization has mastered their approach to their core CEM capabilities? Once you’ve established highly-effective CEM, your team will be:

  • Aware of the true scope of risk
  • More effective at incident response
  • Able to leverage effective technology solutions
  • More confident in their results

Let’s take a closer look at what makes an organization with successful CEM tick. Only 20 percent of the risk and security professionals surveyed could be classified as having a strong risk response. At their core, all of these highly capable respondents reported three qualities that helped build better outcomes for their customers, stakeholders and employees and allowed them to return to business as usual as quickly as possible. To ensure a more effective crisis response, these are the three qualities your firm can emulate:

1. Be proactive: While it may seem like you need a crystal ball to foresee a crisis, the truth of the matter is that you need to be realistic about the potential risks facing your operations. Over one-third of survey respondents said quickly identifying events that could affect their people or assets before they happened was a major challenge, with 13 percent of all respondents ranking it as their number one problem.

On the other hand, organizations with adept responses implemented proactive risk mitigation by evaluating potential events and maintaining awareness of the increasing complexity of risks in the future. Sit down with your stakeholders and employees and work with them to identify the issues facing your organization today as well as those that might happen eventually.

Businesses that ranked highly were also much more likely to proactively monitor incoming risks from all angles. Keep an eye on trends, learn from how other business have (or haven’t) responded to critical events and adapt your policies to be ready for anything.

2. Be comprehensive: Once you’ve identified potential critical events, be sure you’ve plans in place to mitigate threats as quickly as possible. Highly capable firms were five times more likely to have effective, strategic responses to all kinds of “what if” situations.

If your organization takes the time in advance to establish protocols in the event of a disaster, that can save precious time in the moment. This can mean the difference between a rushed, reactive response and a level-headed plan to return to normal.

It’s also vital to have a 360-degree view into the threats that may impact your operations. Technology can help you gain a full perspective and enable you to orchestrate responses across the organization. Combining AI-powered risk intelligence with the ability to monitor and respond to events as they unfold means that your customers, employees and stakeholders will experience minimal disruption.

How can you ensure that your crisis response ranks with the best? The most capable firms in the survey prioritized their CEM programs. They utilized their CEM technology to integrate tactics and centralize their protocols into a single source of authority that can be turned into powerful, effective responses when needed.

3. Be confident: Finally, the organizations with the strongest CEM proficiencies knew it. They were twice as likely to feel confident about their response to risk management and reported improved employee morale and customer reputation. In addition, they said that their CEM programs reduced the impact of critical events to their business operations.

 A comprehensive crisis response plan along with the right CEM technology in place will allow your organization to respond confidently and swiftly – no matter what the threat. When you can mitigate risk more effectively, you ensure business continuity, happy employees, satisfied customers and better business outcomes.

Learn more about the study and gain insights into how to improve your approach to effective CEM. Download the October 2021 Forrester Consulting study commissioned by OnSolve, Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail: Take A Proactive Approach To Critical Event Management To Improve Risk Preparedness, here.

Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail: Take A Proactive Approach To Critical Event Management To Improve Risk Preparedness

Download the full commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of OnSolve, and gain more insights into the “why” behind effective strategies to manage critical events.