Risk, reward and resilience: what businesses think

The past few years have seen rapid political, regulatory and technological changes in business environments, and the rate of change is accelerating. To avoid bouncing back to the status quo, businesses increasingly need to have the right leadership and behaviours to adapt to these changes. Resilience First and EY conducted a study of over 50 UK resilience and security professionals across all industry sectors from both organisations’ member networks.

The aim was to start the conversation with businesses of all sizes to understand their resilience challenges and to develop solutions when managing uncertainty. The study looked at business sentiments on the challenges faced over the next two years across seven categories: People, Supply Chain, Finance, Technology, Regulation, Physical Environment and Community. Uncertainty was understandably a common theme. Yet, it was reassuring to note that the majority of businesses that we spoke to, felt that they were moving in the right direction.

The findings show that UK businesses are striving for continuous improvement and enhancing their approaches to increase their preparedness for change.
The joint survey looked at business sentiments across seven categories: People, Supply Chain, Finance, Technology, Regulation, Physical Environment and Community. The key findings were:

  • People are the bedrock of resilience. Without the right staff, culture, training and leadership, it is almost impossible to create a resilient organisation.
  • Business success relies on the robustness of supply chains. These are often made up of interconnected and complex systems and networks. If suppliers fall short or are disrupted, operational capability and recovery cannot be assured.
  • Resilience depends on having a healthy bottom line in the face of economic changes and challenges.
  • Technology can be a double-edged sword for businesses, helping them to become more resilient in some areas while increasing their vulnerability in others.
  • Regulation can both impede and assist businesses in being resilient. However, it is an important underlying factor that we cannot do without.
  • Damage to property and the impact on health and safety are the obvious effects of most physical shocks and stresses. Preparation and mitigation are critical resilient responses for the protection of business assets.
  • The community with which a business interacts, whether that be in a commercial or residential environment or online across its various stakeholder groups, can have a fundamental impact on its resilience and how it operates.

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