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Building Confidence: The Business Resilience

How resilient is your business?

Report reveals firms may not be taking ‘business process resilience’ seriously enough

London – According to a new report from FT Remark and Wipro (NYSE:WIT), business process resilience is mission-critical, but businesses may be missing opportunities to fortify themselves.

In a global survey of 330 C-suite executives, nearly all respondents (98%) agreed that technology risk management is important or very important to the overall running of their firms, and 84% felt their firms’ technology risk management programmes add value. But 35% described their firms’ spending on technology risk management as ‘focused on the next year’, with a further 17% working on a ‘project-by-project basis’. Less than half (41%) described their spending as ‘focused on the long-term’. In addition, only 15% of those surveyed said decisions on technology risk management were made at board level, even though system failures have implications that reverberate throughout businesses’ ecosystems.

This report seeks to identify how businesses are rising to the challenges that technology presents, and how they are making their businesses more resilient in the process through strategies, investments and partnerships.

“In developing resilience plans, businesses should consider the full range of their operations, from customers to third party suppliers,” Nick Cheek, Managing Editor at Remark, part of the Mergermarket Group, explains. “Businesses should also concentrate on making themselves agile and modular, so that they can minimize the impact of negative events,” he concludes.

Technology has also brought fantastic opportunities to businesses of all sizes. Data is power: the more businesses can understand about their customers, partners and products, the more agile and effective they can be.

“Firms should think of business process resilience broadly,” says Alexis Samuel, Global Managing Partner, Wipro Consulting Services, Wipro Ltd. “Rather than being considered fodder for CIOs or CTOs, corporates should view these issues as board-level ones that have far reaching implications for disparate business arms.”

Balasubramanian Ganesh, Chief Executive – Products & Solutions business, Wipro adds: “Over the years, the level of investment has not kept pace with the level required to address inherent and emerging risks in provision of services to customers. The aggregate impacts of this under-investment, accompanied by increase in customer expectations, have created risks to service which are no longer acceptable. Such risks will typically need to be addressed by a significant and sustained programme of investment.”

Other key findings of the report include:

• At 65%, the largest share of respondents says that integrating new technologies with old is one of their biggest challenges. This is followed by projects being too difficult or complex (52%).
• The most pressing area of concern over the next 12 months is business continuity and disaster recovery planning, with respondents rating this a 4.09 on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 is not at all important and 5 is very important).
• Regarding social media, 74% of respondents say that reputational or brand damage is a potential pitfall.
• For those who agree that technology risk management adds value, 72% say that it does so by increasing customer satisfaction or confidence.
• When thinking about business process resilience, 88% of respondents consider their own firm, with only 65% thinking about their customers.

The report, Building Confidence: The Business of Resilience, identifies key trends in business process resilience (defined as a firm’s ‘ability to cope with change, both expected and unexpected’), particularly in relation to managing technology risk. With globalization and hyperconnectivity, resilience is being taken very seriously at a board level and external consultants are being brought in to bridge the skills gap that exist as new technologies emerge.

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