Take the 2016 study by Securitas Security Services for example. According to this report, there were two newly emerging trends in business continuity that year — active shooter threats and mobile security in cyber communications. Those trends have only escalated in 2017, and are expected to remain consistent in 2018. Along with these two current trends, look at advancements in technology and supply chain processing in regard to business continuity concerns.
In 2018 we can hope that active shooter situations will be curbed, along with police shootings and acts of terrorism. However, there is no indication that these forms of social chaos will be remedied in the coming year. According to the Gun Violence Archive, active shooter scenarios, including the shooting of officers, mass shootings, and the killing of children, are more prevalent in the southeastern states. Yet with the shootings in Las Vegas, California, and Washington in 2017, it is obvious that these acts have no boundaries. Protecting your organization with a business continuity plan that accounts for active shooter threats is the safest solution.
Mobile use is at an all-time high, with 95 percent of US adults using a cellphone, 77 percent of which have smartphones. Everything that can be done on a desktop computer, including document creation and storage, can be achieved using a mobile device. This upswing in mobile dependence opens the gateway to cybersecurity threats. We are already seeing malware and spyware being used under the guise of apps. These hacker devices allow criminals to steal corporate data ranging from contact information to financial records.
The Internet of Things is the next step in mobile functionality. With the IoT, everything is interconnected using wireless internet capabilities. In addition to using a mobile device for everything from banking to communication, the IoT connects technologies, such as security systems and cloud storage. The problem is that Internet of Things malware is advancing along with this technology.
Speaking of advancements in technology, as businesses bring on new tech solutions, the fragility of the system increases. In 2018 we will continue to see automation advancements. This tech is already available for everything from vehicles to back-office networks. While offering expedience and reduced human error, this technology also requires an expanding trust in computer and internet technology to handle more tasks. What happens when something goes awry, or a proprietary system fails? Even in modern times, there needs to be a backup plan in terms of business continuity to avoid productivity losses due to tech glitches.
Another area of advancement that is altering the scope of business continuity is supply chain processing. Thanks to globalization, an increase in world population, and the advent of e-commerce, supply chain demands have reached a peak. Increased volume requires manufacturers to be able to accommodate as needed without jeopardizing the workflow. Technologies are available to help aid in supply chain management. However, these technologies depend on human users who are trained and able to maintain the new processes.
Couple this need with the previously mentioned threats, including active shooters and cyber threats, as well as workplace violence. Overall, supply chain professionals need to be trained and prepared for events occurring within the operation, as well as locally and globally. No longer is it enough to have business continuity within the confines of a single operation. Managers must have strategic business plans in place to allow for business operations, regardless of the threat to production.
Kick off the new year by establishing a business continuity plan that keeps up with the times. Address modern threats and trends as you work toward a more globalized strategy. This is the optimal solution for preparing for the unexpected in today’s world.
Use this handbook to guide you in developing a BC plan from start to finish, as a tool to test and improve your existing plan, or for anything in between.Download The Guide