Uncertain times highlight importance of business continuity planning

Uncertain times highlight importance of business continuity planning | Insurance Business New Zealand

Uncertain times highlight importance of business continuity planning

The past two years under the COVID-19 pandemic have introduced a huge dose of uncertainty across all sectors of the economy, and, in the meantime, businesses have adapted to address the uncertainties by managing risk.

In an episode of IBTV, RiskNZ managing director David Turner (pictured above) said that business continuity planning (BCP) has received a growing amount of attention over the past six months.

“[BCP] lost its momentum, I think, for a few years,” Turner said. “But there's a new focus on BCP where we're looking at really getting into the weeds of that risk and really looking at if we have, say, a team of people, what are their absolute priorities and what are they working on? And then prioritising that right down to saying if someone is away or someone's sick, what can we actually do? What are the core things that we can still deliver and bringing it right down to there?”

According to Turner, this will allow the business to know its capabilities across various scenarios, from best case to worst case, and keep the organisation going amid an event or disruption.

Turner also said that the pandemic has increased the risk management community’s focus on the fundamentals, and the rapidly changing situations, especially in the earlier days of the pandemic, have stressed the importance of robust short-term planning.

“Before, it was a little bit about long-term planning,” Turner said. “Now it's much shorter plans, say, from a week to three weeks or even three months max. And that takes a bit of strategy of how we are going to get there. What are we going to do with a really strong risk focus? But also, what are the contingency plans in these uncertain times, and what do we need to do to make sure we're looking ahead? And I think that's been the biggest change. People are being a lot more nimble, even from the first lockdown right up to now, and a lot more flexible.”