The digital age can provide businesses of all sizes with tools, platforms and opportunities to grow. But as we have seen over the last decade or more, the digital age also brings with it an increasing array of challenges which can disrupt business continuity.
Privacy and security risks remain a consistent threat. The tightening of regulations, climate change and international conflicts causing an energy crisis have also reared their ugly heads.
The 2021 PwC Global Crisis Survey indicates that 95% of business leaders say they are underprepared for challenges that threaten their financial resilience and survival.
Long story short business leaders are faced with a growing need to improve crisis management strategies that threaten business continuity. Below are the five greatest issues that we feel are the most threatening to IT-reliant businesses.
Yes, we know, it’s been said a million times before. Cybersecurity is a growing risk to business continuity. However, despite the media hype, cybersecurity is arguably the easiest fix on this list.
Cybersecurity technologies are pretty efficient. It is thought the proliferation of existing cybersecurity tools will prevent around 87% of attacks.
On the flip side, 90% of data breaches are caused by human error. This is a quick fix.
Despite the alarming number of attacks, a business faces on a daily basis, providing your staff with ongoing cybersecurity awareness training should help you to avoid a data breach.
The other type of human error originates from misconfigured cloud applications. We recommend contacting our cloud specialists in London to address this issue for you.
Supply Chain Shortages
With the war in Ukraine coming on the tail-end of the Covid pandemic, experts are anticipating issues with supply chains that will be out of the control of many businesses.
Reports reveal that truck parts are in short supply. On top of that, the price of fuel is skyrocketing. Businesses that rely on commodities delivered through supply chains (especially international) could face a supply shortage crisis.
Stockpiling wherever possible will help businesses to navigate short-term bottlenecks. But there is no indication of how long shortages will last. Industries rely on energy and with Russia limiting or ending supplies, together with persistent Covid lockdowns in China, there may come a time when lengthy delays in supply chains become a threat to the continuity of your business.
Environment, Social and Governance Laws
Since the introduction of Environment, Social and Governance laws (ESG), investors are putting business owners under increasing pressure to build long-term resilience. Data shows that ESG performance has an impact on financial performance.
Firms that fail to nurture profits for investors could soon find capital is removed from the company – which could impact the operational capacity of a business. Or in a worst-case scenario level the company entirely.
On the other hand, companies that do not enforce meaningful solutions that ESG is designed to address (energy efficiency, health and wellbeing, data privacy etc) may lose customers and stakeholders.
The touchpoints covered by ESG are an increasingly important part of investment decision-making. As things stand, ESG rating is totally unregulated – though this could change. The potential for “greenwashing” has been called into question and woe betide businesses found to be failing the ESG deliveries they promised.
Businesses are legally obliged to “ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services”. Under the EU’s GDPR, the Information Commissioner’s Office has increased powers to ensure data protection protocols are installed and enforced.
As mentioned above, the threat of cybersecurity can be avoided. However, GDPR also extends to the loss of data by any means – including natural disasters for example.
Whilst a natural disaster is less of a risk in the UK than in other countries, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities. There have been 51 flash floods in the UK since 2007. Firms that store data in-house could be at risk.
The stringent data privacy standards governed by EU laws dictate firms to report on how they collect, store and distribute data. The regulations also require businesses to create strategies that enable them to recover data.
We’ve already created a GDPR cheatsheet so won’t go into too much detail again here. The pressing issue for business leaders is to determine the severity of punishment the ICO would hand them and how they would navigate the storm to avoid losing too many customers.
It’s the loss of customers that poses the biggest threat to your business continuity – and GDPR forces you to inform your customers of a breach of privacy or data loss. According to reports, around 60% of small businesses close following a data breach.
IT Network Disaster Recovery
Companies that rely on IT networks to function need to have a strategy that will ensure their business is not out of action for too long. Not only do interruptions impact your earnings potential, but they could also mean that you lose customers to your competitors.
Legacy systems pose an increasing threat to modern businesses. Tech companies are encouraging firms of all sizes to migrate to the cloud by ditching support for older software and taking parts for ageing devices out of circulation.
Business continuity and disaster recovery plan should outline potential risks to your IT network, the impact they will have and detail recovery strategies across your company’s entire IT system applications and data that will prevent significant financial loss.
IT Specialists in London
The majority of threats today’s businesses face can be resolved with the assistance of IT support services. Our IT specialists in London are not only aware of the threats business leaders face, but we also have digital solutions that help to support business continuity.
With years of experience working with all types of businesses across multiple sectors, we understand the challenges you have to navigate in the digital and regulatory landscape.
Our IT support services include bespoke solutions for integrated IT systems, data protection and disaster recovery planning that meets compliance requirements. With a team of professionals that can provide critical insights and protect your network with our vast knowledge of technology, you increase likelihood of continuing your business well into the future.