Risk Management, particularly Business Continuity Management, has come into sharp focus for senior management teams in the last 12 months. Many organisations have experienced steep learning curves in working in ‘contingency mode’ and learned important lessons on resilience.
Business Continuity Management

Did business continuity planning pay off?

For organisations that continued to operate throughout the pandemic, it is interesting to see whether having a business continuity plan (BCP) actually helped them in the response to the crisis – with various surveys conducted throughout this challenging period.

Around a quarter of businesses surveyed in February 2020 were only just developing their first ever business continuity plan in response to the COVID-19 outbreak1, and by June 2020, 21% admitted that they still didn’t have a pandemic plan and process in place2.

Organisations with a well-established business continuity capability have generally been able to achieve a swifter activation of remote work and other required contingencies. For example, their BCP has provided a framework for incident management and decision making, critical IT staff and networks were ready to respond, and altered work areas were quickly leveraged to achieve social distancing.

While some BCPs required amendments, having a defined plan in place gave organisations a basis from which to define their response.

What happens from here?

A year of an altered working environments has brought a number of predictions for business and operating models. These include an increase in remote working (treated as the ‘norm’ where it may not have been embraced before), an increase in robotics and automation, especially in industries with a high reliance on site-based staff, and the diversification and localisation of supply chains. In a report created by the Business Continuity Institute, for example, it was highlighted that fewer than half of organisations surveyed had an adequate contingency plan in place to protect their supply chain and over 57% of organisations are looking to diversify their supplier base post-pandemic, in many cases reducing their reliance on the Far East (29.9%)3.

Data also shows that 95% of businesses said they will assess whether they need to revisit their enterprise risk management framework and continuity plans as a result of COVID-194 and 45% of SMEs creating or changing continuity plans say they need to improve their risk assessment practices5. Another key consideration is identifying critical products/services that must be delivered in a crisis – a concern for 33% of SMEs6.

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, the decisions made by organisations will define their future – particularly decisions around managing risk and business continuity.

How Gallagher can help

We have experienced and qualified BCM specialists within our Risk Management Solutions team who can assist you in all aspects of business continuity. This can range from initial business continuity plan development, through various types of exercise, to reviews and gap analyses of mature BCM programmes.

1. https://www.me.mercer.com/newsroom/covid-19-companies-have-no-businesscontinuity- plan-to-combat-coronavirus-outbreak.html
2. https://www.internationalsos.com/news-releases/second-wave-of-covid-19-feared-asleading- threat-to-business-continuity-jun-09-2020
3. https://www.thebci.org/news/3-out-of-4-supply-chains-adversely-affected-bycovid- 19.html
4. https://www.avetta.com/sites/default/files/2020-12/THE%20COVID-19%20EFFECT.pdf
5. https://www.trinet.com/about-us/news-press/press-releases/trinet-and-the-harrispoll-reveal-survey-results-highlighting-covid-19-preparedness-and-resiliency-of-smalland-medium-size-businesses
6. https://www.trinet.com/about-us/news-press/press-releases/trinet-and-the-harrispoll-reveal-survey-results-highlighting-covid-19-preparedness-and-resiliency-of-smalland-medium-size-businesses