4 min

Tags in this article

, , ,

When your company’s resiliency is put to the test, how will you manage? Do you have a game plan that keeps the ball in your hands? Or if there’s a turnover, can you quickly regain control and execute a strong offense? How much of your resiliency playbook have you written? Resiliency is a critical component of any business. But getting it right isn’t as simple as implementing new technology or creating a new department (although both steps may be part of your overall plan). Quantifying the return on resiliency investments may be challenging until you need to exercise the plan, so necessary spending may be challenging to justify in the moment.

In 2020, in the face of a global pandemic, the resiliency of companies was put the test. Management teams were faced with questions like: Do we have the infrastructure to send all our global employees home? Can we support and enable them to keep performing at high levels? And how do we continue to serve our customers without interruption during very uncertain times? Companies that had resiliency built into their business, were able to act in an agile way. After the pandemic, we were faced with several new disruptive situations: Ukraine, the recent instability in banks and the rise of generative AI, to mention a few. Every situation will come with its own challenges; the question is if  your company is ready to respond?

Three easy ways CIOs can get started

CIOs must always ask: what’s coming next? How do I insulate my business from sudden change? What innovation do I need today to give my organization resiliency tomorrow? The cloud continues to be the great enabler. SAS Cloud continues to be an increasingly popular choice for executives who want to build resiliency into their operations. 

SAS surveyed more than 2,400 senior executives from around the globe to get their perspectives on business resilience. It turns out, more than half (51%) of Benelux respondents say they are not fully equipped to cope with disruption. Almost all of them (99%) consider resilience very or somewhat important. As with their global counterparts, the importance executives in the Benelux place on resilience differs drastically from how they feel about their own company, creating a gap between aspiration and reality.

Here are three easy ways to build resiliency into your business strategy and  get started.

1 – Limit your tech debt

Outdated technology is the main reason why 72% of Benelux executives struggle to drive speed and agility within their organization. Vintage companies – those not born in the digital age – often carry years of technical debt that limits their ability to keep pace with digitally native industry peers. It also hampers their recruiting capabilities. Top talent wants to work at a place where they can become experts in modern tools. But even when your company was born in the digital age, it doesn’t mean you can skip resolving tech debt. It’s not unusual for companies to take shortcuts in their rush to get their products and services to market. Just because tech dept was always ignored doesn’t mean it should still be ignored. That’s a recipe for disaster.

2 – Lean into your technology

Speaking of top talent, it’s important to understand that resilient companies are not dependent on heroes to operate. Twenty years ago, companies had heroes roaming the halls. They talked over the water cooler and solved business problems in break rooms. That’s not how a resilient company operates today. A resilient company today has freedom for its employees. It empowers them to work where and when they want to. And the knowledge of today’s resilient company resides in its technology, not in the individual heads of heroes.

3 – Define your critical pillars and prioritize innovation

The last and best advice for executives looking to embed resiliency into an organization is to establish pillars of technology. What are the core technologies that run your business? Is it time to embrace a new solution that pushes your organization forward? Some companies have siloed systems, tech debt, or integration and data transfer challenges. Stepping back to identify the critical technology pillars that run your business helps.

Key element: data and analytics

Think for a second about data and analytics, as 93% of Benelux respondents see data and analytics as essential tools to reduce their lag in resilience. If an individual keeps their models locally on their machine, those insights are only available to that person. No matter how potentially valuable the data is, if it never gets surfaced to a decision maker, the value of that data is zero. With an analytics platform you can create a commercial enterprise system for the collaboration of all users regardless of their role – business analyst, data engineer, information technologist or data scientist. The SAS Viya platform for example, allows customers to manage their analytic lifecycle. They can see what models have been developed, explain them, and understand the data underneath them.

With a platform like this, companies get data analytics out of the hands of individual heroes and into the enterprise for all to interact with. And that means that your business can harness the power of data and analytics to help them outpace whatever market changes are beyond the horizon. In uncertain times, humans get distracted. But data and analytics help keep humans focused, scale our decision making and move us forward without interruptions. Further enhance your resiliency and build a more data-driven company by ensuring data is available to everyone. It’s not enough to have a disaster recovery or business continuity plan anymore. You need a game plan that ensures your business is future-proofed for tomorrow. Today, the questions are: Are you prepared to react in the moment? Can you pivot and change the play when you must? Is your business truly resilient?

How resilient is your organization?  Take the resiliency assessment. Like to learn more? Check out the full Resiliency Rules report

This article was submitted by SAS.