An integrated approach helps companies improve operational resilience

By taking a unified approach to managing critical events (i.e. extreme weather, violence, supply chain disruption), businesses can significantly reduce the impact on employee safety, organizational reputation, and revenue, according to a study conducted by Forrester Consulting for Everbridge.

improve operational resilience

According to the study, companies are investing significant resources in sophisticated controls to protect their employees, brand and assets from critical events. These disruptive incidents (ranging from cyberattacks to terrorist activity) increasingly lead to business impacts such as operational losses, brand damage, and concerns for employee health and safety.

Despite the investments being made, companies struggle to optimize their critical event management (CEM) operations, slowing down response time and creating potentially life-threatening confusion. As a result, organizations are turning toward continuous resolution and a unified approach to CEM that links security and business operations, which in turn gives security, operations and risk professionals more time to react or even avoid the negative consequences of these events.

Critical events are not only common, they’re next to inevitable. 100 percent of the companies surveyed have suffered at least one critical event in the past twenty-four months. The most common events were:

  • 33 percent experienced impacts from a natural disaster or extreme weather
  • 28 percent experienced theft of physical or intellectual property
  • 25 percent experienced an IT failure of a business-critical system.

The areas most impacted by critical events included customer safety (59 percent), employee safety (59 percent), brand and reputation (56 percent) and revenue (53 percent). CEM takes a company’s preparations a step further by enabling a unified, efficient, distributed, automated and collaborative process for managing critical events.

Organizations with a unified approach are better prepared to handle critical events through optimized tools and procedures; these include integrated alarm notifications, documented roles and responsibilities, and social media monitoring.

The CEM metrics companies track reveal a maturity disconnect, with less than 50 percent of companies tracking the cost to repair, replace, or improve processes, post-event.

Companies with a unified approach to CEM will see a return on their investment in the form of reduced mean time to identify, know and resolve events. In addition, companies with a unified approach saw a significant reduction in the impact that critical events had, reducing customer safety events by 78 percent, brand and reputation issues by 75 percent, employee safety issues by 74 percent, and the overall impact on revenue by 72 percent.

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