Increased Economic, Geopolitical Risk Fueling Investments in Business Resiliency, Continuity

2009 Business Resiliency Survey from iJET shows companies seeking to mitigate impact of turbulent economic times

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Annapolis, MD — July 1, 2009 — The current climate of increased economic and geopolitical risk is fueling investments in business resiliency and continuity initiatives as companies seek to mitigate the impact of the turbulent business environment, according to a new survey.

iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a provider of global intelligence and business resiliency services, has published its annual Business Resiliency Survey Results for 2009. The survey, conducted by the company, represents an insider's look at the current state of business resiliency planning and strategy in multinational organizations around the globe.

Aggregating responses from more than 350 professionals representing large multinational corporations in a diverse spectrum of industries, the survey benchmarks the latest in resiliency planning and practices progress across the global business community. The majority of respondents (66 percent) worked for organizations with over $1 billion in annual revenue, and 44 percent of participants had vice president, executive level or director titles.

Business resiliency — defined as rapidly adapting and responding to both risks and opportunities in order to maintain continuity of operations, remain a trusted partner and enable growth, as well as create a sustainable competitive advantage — continues to capture mindshare and resources at multinational corporations.

Historically, economically turbulent times have led to increased disruptions for business including political protests, crime, workplace violence and other events. Increases in such disruptions during the current global economic downturn are leading many organizations to refocus on the importance of business resiliency as a key component to enterprise risk management.

Among the key findings of this year's survey:

  • Business Resiliency Planning is Mature: Most organizations have one or more plans in place that address resiliency issues, including emergency response (85 percent), continuity (82 percent) and crisis management (81 percent).
  • Pandemic Planning Lags: Only 57 percent of survey participants indicated they had a pandemic preparedness plan in place. Given the recent H1N1 Influenza A (swine flu) outbreak and the increased attention currently on pandemics, organizations will likely refocus on this area of preparedness, helping to increase overall resiliency.
  • Customers Are a Key Driver of Resiliency Planning: After senior management (74 percent), customers are the next most common driver for organizations to adopt resiliency initiatives (49 percent), suggesting that resiliency planning is becoming a requirement for doing business.
  • Senior Management Focus on Resiliency Has Increased: 74 percent of respondents indicated that executives drive resiliency initiatives — an 11 percent increase year over year.
  • Disruptions Are Increasing: For most respondents, the frequency and severity of disruptive events increased year over year, with economic changes (53 percent), weather/environment (41 percent) and geopolitical unrest/terrorism (32 percent) drawing the most concern.
  • Investment in Resiliency Is Ongoing: Organizations are actively investing in business resiliency with 73 percent of respondents indicating that their organizations would retain the same level of investment — or increase spending in resiliency and continuity initiatives — this year, despite budgetary constraints.

"Clearly, 2009 and beyond will continue to pose a unique set of economic and geopolitical circumstances that will challenge companies to examine their business resiliency initiatives," said Steve Hoffman, iJET's CEO. "As our survey demonstrates, organizations are responding to increased risk with increased focus and investment in resiliency. We believe those companies will increase their odds in emerging from these challenging times with a competitive advantage."

iJet said that organizations are turning to business resiliency to protect individual employees and business operations, as well as to protect the organization's reputation and brand. Resiliency has broad ownership across organizational structures, with 31 percent of respondents indicating that responsibility for resiliency initiatives resides within a cross-functional team. Other respondents indicated that their senior management (13 percent), security (12 percent) or a dedicated business continuity/resiliency-focused employee (19 percent) led the organization's resiliency initiatives.

The full report is available (registration required) at