FT Remark and Wipro survey reveals firms may be missing opportunities to fortify business process resilience

Posted On 07 Oct 2014
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A new report compiled by FT Remark and Wipro confirms that business process resilience is mission-critical, but also highlights that companies may well be missing opportunities to fortify themselves. In the global survey of 330 C-suite executives, nearly all respondents (98%) agree that technology risk management is important or very important to the overall running of their companies, while 84% feel their firms’ technology risk management programmes add value. However, 35% describe their organisations’ 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%) describe their company’s spending as ‘focused on the long-term’.

In addition, only 15% of those surveyed state that decisions on technology risk management are made at Board level, even though system failures have implications that reverberate throughout a given business’ ecosystem. The FT-Remark/Wipro report entitled ‘Building Confidence: The Business of Resilience’ seeks to identify how businesses are rising to the challenges that technology presents, and how they are making their operations 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 through to third party suppliers,” explained Nick Cheek, managing editor at Remark (which is part of the Mergermarket Group).” Businesses should also concentrate on making themselves agile and modular such that they can minimise the impact of negative events.”

Data is power

Technology has realised fantastic opportunities for 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. ” Companies should think of business process resilience in the broader sense,” stated Alexis Samuel, global managing partner at Wipro Consulting Services.” 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, CEO for the Products and Solutions business at Wipro, added:” Over the years, the level of investment has not kept pace with that required to address inherent and emerging risks when it comes to the provision of services to customers. The aggregate impacts of this under-investment, accompanied by an increase in customer expectations, have created risks to services which are no longer acceptable. Such risks will typically need to be addressed by a significant and sustained programme of investment.”

Additional key findings of the report

At 65%, the largest share of respondents state 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 at 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 ‘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 globalisation and hyper-connectivity, resilience is being taken very seriously at Board level and external consultants are being brought in to bridge the skills gaps that exist as new technologies emerge. For the purposes of the report, FT Remark interviewed 330 C-suite executives from corporations with an annual turnover of US$500 million or greater. The interview pool was comprised of 113 respondents from Europe, 100 respondents from the USA, 80 respondents from the Asia Pacific region and 37 respondents from Africa. To qualify for participation in the study, respondents must have allocated budget to technology risk management in the past two years or have plans to do so in the coming year.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.