3 Ways to Strengthen Business Continuity: Tips for COOs

  • July 21, 2021
  • Quantivate

COOs and other operations leaders need to look no further than the barrage of guidance from global financial regulators to see the importance of building operational resiliency in the financial services industry.

Institutions are expected implement management practices and supporting infrastructure to maintain robust customer or member service through technology failures, market disruption, systemic risk events, natural disasters, and even pandemics.

Steps for Strengthening Business Continuity and Resilience Management

To build resilience and business continuity program maturity, organizations need to:

1. Identify Critical Business Functions and Assets

When identifying critical functions, assets, and core business lines, keep in mind that your business continuity team will need strategies that protect those operations regardless of the source of disruption. Whether impacted by an unexpected technology failure, pandemic, cybersecurity incident, or any other cause, an operationally resilient firm will have the policies, procedures, and practices in place to navigate any disruption.

2. Monitor Dependencies and Interconnections

A holistic perspective is key for response and recovery planning. After identifying their core business lines, critical assets, and functions, organizations need to consider key personnel, technology, processes, and data. Understanding these data inputs and mapping out dependencies and impacts on other internal functions and/or third parties will support a robust plan for business continuity and operational resilience.

Learn more: Business Impact Analysis Best Practices >

3. Develop a Collaborative Approach to Operational Risk Management

Siloed operational risk management leads to inevitable failure. Effective management processes require a collaborative and holistic approach between senior management and business functions across your organization.

Operational resilience requires being able to quickly evaluate the situation at hand and adapt to what’s next — not an easy task for institutions that rely on manual or disconnected management processes. An integrated risk management model supports resilience through coordination and data-sharing across different functions and departments, equipping organizations to identify, monitor, and manage risk and its impact on the business.

Organizations need complete situational awareness and visibility of risks scattered across systems, operations, processes, relationships, and data to achieve operational resiliency.

An integrated information and technology architecture is critical for financial services firms to build a more thoughtful and strategic approach to managing operational risk and understating its impact on strategy, objectives, and performance.