Business Continuity, Critical Event Management, Risk Management

Risk Management: Is Your Strategy Keeping Pace?

By Sarah Perry

Like most everything in our world, today’s business climate is marked by constant change. Increasing severe weather events, workers distributed far afield, chronic political conflict, the ongoing pandemic – those are just a few of the features of today’s threat landscape.

Staying ahead of it all requires thorough risk management. Yet when it comes to both existing and burgeoning risk, the majority of organizations are not adequately informed, let alone prepared.

Despite the ever-increasing complexity of business that brings rising frequency and intensity of business interruptions, fewer than half of risk and security professionals agree that risk management is likely to be more complex two years from now than today, according to a commissioned global study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of OnSolve. In addition, about half of respondents indicated they aren’t proactively mitigating risk, yet only 38 percent say their current risk management strategies are effectively measured or optimized today.

These responses indicate a marked disconnect between the respondents’ self-ascribed risk readiness and their actual capability to identify and respond to risk. On top of that, respondents indicated they expect a 122 percent increase in optimized risk management strategies in the next 18 months. 

Pretty ambitious, wouldn’t you say? Especially if there’s no articulated plan in place for how exactly that increase will be enacted. It all boils down to overconfidence. When you need to overcome the odds during states of emergency, complacency is the enemy of competency.

So what can you do about it? Fortunately, the findings also indicate there is a reliable way to improve awareness and achieve better response outcomes during disasters. Focus on mastering the core capabilities of successful critical event management (CEM): risk intelligence, critical communications, incident management and control center-level visibility.

These four building blocks are key to establishing an effective risk management strategy that gives you well-merited confidence. While it may seem like a lot to figure out, the good news is modern technology offers an advantage that helps establish a system to address those very things. The right CEM platform will integrate with your existing systems and give you an immediate leg up on proactive preparation. Here’s how:

  • Risk Intelligence: By virtue of AI-powered risk intelligence, a CEM platform delivers actionable intelligence. Data is gathered and verified from sources across the globe, to give you an accurate overview of the threat landscape. When you receive this applied analysis in real time, your decision-making process is more informed. 
  • Critical Communications: It’s vital to have reliable, mass notifications to reach all of your stakeholders, including employees, executives, customers and your supply chain. An integrated critical communications system gives you the ability to send targeted, time-sensitive alerts to all of them, instantly. By getting everyone up to speed with just a few clicks, you improve response time.
  • Incident Management: Streamlined, automated processes facilitate better critical information flows, so you can resolve incidents more efficiently. Develop your decision-making matrix in advance, determine your tier of trigger events and review your standard operating procedures and actions on the objective well in advance. The right CEM platform will offer the ability to rehearse your incident management strategy for a wide range of potential threats.
  • Control Center-Level Visibility: Getting your operational arms around risk is closely tied to being able to see a big-picture visual representation of how each aspect of your organization is affected by a given threat. Without this, the tendency is for departments to operate in separate silos and tackle risk in a disjointed, ad-hoc fashion. Alternatively, when you can see all the connections and how each team’s actions affect each other, you can take the consistent and unified approach that cuts risk to the quick.

Risk is defined by its unpredictable nature – it can come from anywhere, anytime. To stay one step ahead requires careful strategizing that includes verified intelligence, a reliable means of keeping everyone connected, an accurate big picture overview and a strong plan in place to tackle both expected and unforeseen emergencies, as well as the confluence of both.

Could you handle an active shooter in the midst of a power outage at your facility during ongoing COVID restrictions? Such scenarios are the reason why drills and training are vital to developing the muscle memory necessary to achieve a swift and efficient response.

While practice doesn’t always make perfect, it certainly increases precision, and that’s the differentiator you need. Every organization will have a unique risk profile, which is why it’s crucial to have a CEM platform designed to be customizable.

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.