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Jan 11

Understanding Enterprise Resiliency

Posted by: Vicki Thomas in DRJ Blogs

Vicki Thomas

In the Fall 2012 issue of the Disaster Recovery Journal we focussed on enterprise resiliency - researching and writing about this topic from a range of angles and perspectives. We thought it would be useful to pull some highlights from this issue to help you to better understand enterprise resiliency and what it means for your organization.

Enterprise resiliency is not something to take lightly nor is it something that is easy to achieve. But as you'll read, there are methods and principles you can put into practice in your businesses that will go a long way in achieving true enterprise resiliency.

What is Enterprise Resiliency?

Enterprise resiliency "implies an organization can not only address the daily issues associated with running a complex business but can also anticipate and respond quickly to situations that could seriously threaten the business".

This definition or explanation of enterprise resiliency is from an article written by Paul Kirvan titled: Achieving Enterprise Resiliency. In this article Kirvan highlights that in order for enterprise resiliency to truly be achieved, organizations must think beyond standard risk management issues. 

There must be a clear picture and understanding of all types of risk, including: 


  • People
  • Business conditions
  • Global financial activities
  • Global market shifts

Once there is an understanding of such risks, the onus is on the business to implement processes that ensure the business can respond accordingly to such risks. This gives the organization the chance to react quickly and to mitigate the impact of potential risks and events. 

As Kirvan highlights, a truly resilient enterprise has  the plans in place to respond to and recover from such risks. If you haven't read Kirvan's article, click on over and give it a read

Why Management Still Matters

Some folks like to think that true innovation and risk taking in an organization is driven by those employees who are not in management positions. While in some cases this might be the case, when it comes to enterprise resiliency - it really is up to management to take charge and to ultimately take some risks. 

Ken Simpson writes in his article: Why True Enterprise Resiliency is the Responsibility of Top Executives - that true enterprise resiliency can only be achieved with top executive commitment and executive leadership. This means that it's up to management to be the risk takers and to start thinking of innovative approaches to eliminating and reacting to risk.

Of course as Simpson highlights, this is often easier said than done. It is difficult to be the person who suggests a different approach to something that has always been done "one way".  The underlying challenge with all of this is that you won't know if your organization is truly resilient until faced with such a risk or threat - making it even harder to take the steps towards innovation.

For management to truly succeed in building and supporting a truly enterprise resilient organization there must be a clear understanding of the business strategy and a long-term commitment to these business goals. This ultimately means, you need to know where you are - where you want to go - and how you're going to get there. With leadership from management, companies can blend proven technologies with innovative approaches - ensuring that resiliency is met. (Go read Simpson's article to learn more about how and why management can really be the active force in achieving enterprise resiliency.)

Learn More

Hopefully we've convinced you with this brief summary of enterprise resiliency that you do need to devote serious time and energy to it. The good news is that our Fall 2012 issue is online and you can read many more articles about enterprise resiliency and then when you're at Spring World in March, you can attend our Monday session devoted to enterprise resiliency: Driving an Enterprise Resiliency Partnership.

It would be great if you could post in the comments how your organization is approaching enterprise resiliency. Let's get a dialogue going about this and learn from one another.