• Ben Desjardins

Exploring the Evolution of Business Continuity and Resiliency


I recently had the pleasure of hosting a webinar in conjunction with the DRJournal to discuss lessons learned from the year 2020 as it relates to Business Continuity and overall Operational Resiliency. To say last year brought many lessons learned would be a huge understatement . . . surely too many to explore in a one-hour webinar. But like any lesson, the impact relies heavily on the ‘teachers’ . . . and in this case I was fortunate to have the expertise of two seasoned practitioners, Stacey Jonasen from Franklin Templeton and Patrick Potter, currently with Archer but a former Business Continuity Management professional with leading companies in both the airline and hospitality industries. I highly encourage you to listen to the recording of this webinar to get these experts’ full thoughts, but here are a few areas we explored.


The Value of a Head Start

As we prepared for the webinar, what struck me was how well prepared overall Franklin Templeton seemed to respond quickly to the immediate impacts of the pandemic. What came to light as we explored that is that in reality many of the actions needed in those early days were well understood, tested and often operationalized in terms of enabling remote workforce and other aspects of critical business operations. This is because Franklin Templeton had been actively executing a plan for broad business transformation. This idea of business or digital transformation that was already underway giving some companies a head start in responding to the disruption was familiar to me . . . in a survey conducted in mid-2020 we found a very similar reality for many organizations.


These points were discussed at length, including the sharing of market data points reinforcing specific areas of transformation that were 1) impactful in responding to the pandemic; and 2) are being impacted by organizations reassessing post-pandemic.


Common Destination with Uncommon Starting Points

It of course was no accident that we looked to drive the discussion of 2020 lessons learned towards the topic of Operational Resiliency. It’s difficult these days to get in-and-out of any customer or partner conversation without the concept coming up . . . so it would seem one uber lesson learned for many organizations is, in simple terms “OK we survived that, but we can do better.” And the area our experts agreed most organizations want to do better is around an advanced understanding of how modern, agile businesses and all of their interdependencies can coordinate and collaborate more effectively in the event of a disruptive occurrence.


Agility Will Continue to be Key

We all had to be agile in 2020, in our personal and our work lives. And our experts highlighted that for organizations looking to learn from last year and improve on their ability to respond and reduce operational impacts, a key aspect of agility will be that of the technology they use to share information and drive data-driven decision making. Specifically, Stacey spoke to the challenges facing Franklin Templeton in those early days, saying “all 40 crisis management teams active at one time. We have a corporate team, site based teams and business recovery teams. We’ve never had to support all of them at one time.” She then highlighted how they used Archer to get these disparate teams coordinated across the pandemic response process.


We had a great turnout and a number of interesting questions at the end of the session, highlighting to me that the topic of Operational Resiliency is, itself, resilient. But it also doesn’t have to be intimidated or thought of as only relevant to those facing immediate regulatory pressures and/or way down a maturity path on Risk Management.


Again, I encourage you to listen to the What 2020 Taught Us About Risk and Resiliency webinar recording, or if you’d like to explore further how Archer is helping customers with their unique paths to Operational Resiliency, take a look at this eBook.