IT Risks for Business Continuity – Trends for 2019

By Mark Watson|29 October 2018

Business continuity risks vary between different organisations. Some threats are down to factors such as staff shortages or absenteeism. Other threats might be location specific, for example if you can’t access your primary location and staff can’t use equipment or access physical documents and information.

However, most business continuity risks revolve around access to IT systems and data, and many organisations see these as the most serious threats to business operations. Our dependence on IT means that when an incident or disaster strikes, our businesses are vulnerable. Non-IT or low-tech threats can still have serious implications, but it’s technology that now drives most organisations (big and small) and is therefore a key vulnerability and threat to business continuity.

Business Continuity Spending In 2019

To get an idea of the key threats to business continuity that are keeping risk managers awake at night, we only need to look at what they’re budgeting for in 2019. A survey by independent research company Verdantix explored the 2019 budget plans, priorities and technology preferences of 221 risk managers across a variety of sectors. Budgets for operational risk management are set to increase by 5% in 2019, with IT systems, contractor risk management and mechanical integrity seeing the largest budget increases. IT are you keeping up with the pace of change?

67% of those surveyed are also integrating different IT systems to improve operational risk management: migrating to cloud platforms continues to be a significant trend as part of business continuity planning.

Business Continuity and IT Outsourcing

Another trend that we’re seeing here at UKN Group is how organisations are increasingly looking to outsource the monitoring and management of their IT systems to IT service providers like ourselves. While the decision to outsource IT may be driven by cost savings and other benefits, business continuity is also a factor.

IT service providers can be part of your business continuity plans, ensuring that business critical IT systems are backed up and accessible if an incident occurs. Again, cloud platforms as well as VPNs offer many advantages, especially if your employees can’t access your primary location. Contingency plans may include alternative sites to work from, including employees’ homes, and an IT partner can ensure that employees can access IT systems and data securely, and in accordance with regulatory compliance.

They may also help ensure that you have the hardware you require to operate if computers and laptops are not accessible because of an incident at your primary location.

Business Continuity and Staffing Shortages

IT outsourcing can also help resolve business continuity risks such as staff shortages in your IT team. While staff shortages are often viewed as a non-tech threat to business continuity, if they occur in your IT department they present IT Risks too.

Without sufficient staff, issues that might impact productivity or cause downtime may go undetected. IT support is a key area where staff shortages can be costly to businesses, with support tickets response times taking a nosedive. If employees or customers don’t get issues resolved within in an acceptable timeframe, productivity and customer satisfaction levels decrease. Alternatively, you may find that your IT team spend all their time providing IT support, neglecting other projects and aspects of their function.

Whether you are suffering from long term staff shortages in your IT department, issues with absenteeism or illness, or struggle to cope when staff are on annual leave; outsourcing your IT support is a flexible and scalable option.

For more on business continuity and IT you may like to read my post called Your IT Network And Business Continuity: How To Reduce Risk. Alternatively if you would like to discuss any of the subjects raised in this blog post, or explore IT outsourcing as part of your organisation’s business continuity planning, contact me on 0845 643 6060 or email info@ukngroup.com

Download our whitepaper '5 IT Strategies for Business Success' to learn how you can optimise your IT infrastructure and systems to help your organisation be more competitive, agile and productive.

 

Further Information

5 IT Strategies for Business Success

Information Technology (IT) has revolutionised the lives of individuals and organisations. Innovation in this sphere has created business opportunities that did not exist five, ten or twenty years ago, both in the way companies operate as well as the services and products they sell.

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