Healix International has identified six key areas of risk – besides the continued impact of COVID-19 – for global organizations in 2021.
The increasing frequency of extreme weather events with natural disasters becoming more pronounced both in terms of frequency and severity. Building resilience to natural disasters is a significant exercise.
In a context of increased isolationism, and more time spent online, individuals will become increasingly disconnected from normative community activity with a comparative increase in crime and incidents of violence perpetrated by ‘faceless’ lone actors.
Supply chain disruption
The highly complex logistical webs that make up the global economy have predominantly been designed with cost and efficiency in mind. Unless resilience starts to be factored into these considerations, disruption to supply chains will remain a significant operational risk factor.
No longer just an inconvenience, they are potentially calamitous. More worrisome, attacks targeting government infrastructure are on the rise, and any cyber breaches in this space could have unprecedented implications.
Decay of the ‘social contract’
Mounting frustrations over inequality, cynicism of perceived corrupt political elites, and distrust of wider civil society including the media and big business amid the pandemic of fake news are likely to lead to increased public agitation and worsening levels of political cohesion.
Erosion of domestic political cohesion fuelled by social media
Complex political issues find themselves being misrepresented in the form of a ‘post’, ‘share’, or ‘tweet’. This dynamic will become more prevalent in 2021 and result in even more social and political divisiveness, with rising levels of political risk in locations where the ‘culture war’ is most pronounced.
As Chris Job MBE, Director, Risk Management Services, Healix International explains, it is vital for organizations with an international footprint to ensure that the myriad of risks beyond the coronavirus remain a focus.
“2021 is likely to be as busy a year for challenging global events, some predictable and some unprecedented. Overlay this expectation with a new and as yet undefined normal and a global drive for economic growth, the need for robust organizational resilience plans is clear. The key now is to ensure consistent and reliable monitoring is combined with access to the most appropriate resources to ensure employee wellbeing remains the priority.”