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Operational Resilience services

Operating in increasing complexity

The ever-changing threat landscape including cyberattacks, insider threats, geopolitical events, pandemics and weather events is driving organisations to rethink their strategies for withstanding disruption.

Businesses that embed resilience into their operating models and governance are better able to manage change and disruptive events. There is a growing consensus that while disruption is inevitable, the quality of your response will set you apart and ensure your survival.

The keys to effective resilient capability are executive sponsorship, a thorough understanding of the processes underpinning your business and a committed workforce.

Our team are ready to help you embed resilience into your organisation.

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Taking the mystery out of resilience

Resilience can be open to interpretation within a business. A unified understanding of the concept, and its application, organisational capability and responses to disruption are required to avoid a disjointed response. Success is dependent upon effective leadership, and a clear understanding and execution of roles and responsibilities.

Effective governance and programme management

Modern organisations, irrespective of the business sector are operating in complex, interrelated environments that are changing constantly.

Executive sponsorship, effective leadership and setting the tone from the top are core foundations for a successful resilient capability. Maintaining that capability is a strategic priority and requires constant management attention.

We are the only team that can combine academic accreditation with cross sectoral, public sector, industry and military experience to help you implement effective leadership, oversight and continuous improvement of your resilience programme.

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Defining critical business services

Resilience is a chain of integrated actions bringing collective strength to the organisation. But you are only as strong as your weakest link. Resilience is about knowing what is of value and how to protect it, affording you a greater ability to bounce back from adversity. Have you conducted a thorough impact analysis of risk and business impact to identify your critical processes, or are you operating on a gut instinct of what underpins your business?

Our experienced team can guide you through this process and ensure your recovery strategies are based on hard facts rather than assumptions.

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Mapping and managing interdependencies

A thorough understanding of the interaction between people, processes, technology, facilities and information is essential in building a resilient capability and protecting your value-creating processes. Disruption anywhere within this interconnected web of activities, even external to your organisation, can have negative consequences. COVID-19 highlighted previously unrecognised vulnerabilities in the delivery of business services.

Our team can help you map those dependencies, internally and externally. Using digital visualisation tools, we can help you to understand where vulnerabilities exist, and how to mitigate any weaknesses.

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Determining impact tolerance limits

Establishing accurate impact tolerances for your critical business services is essential in minimising disruption to your customers. Impact tolerances, linked to your risk management procedures, help define thresholds and quantify the maximum acceptable level of disruption to a critical business service. During a crisis, impact tolerances support the leadership team in deciding which services will be prioritised for recovery, and which will help to minimise the negative impact on the organisation and its customers.

Our risk management and business impact assessment specialists can help you establish meaningful impact tolerances within your risk appetite. They can also help you validate these tolerances in a no-risk tabletop simulation exercise.

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Managing crises and business continuity

Crisis management and business continuity plans must be integrated into the operational resilience framework. They should be linked to risk management processes, and cross-functional teams should take the time to stress test these plans regularly. At the onset of COVID-19, well-prepared organisations had agreed priorities, knew how to protect their value creating operations, mobilised their crisis response teams, contained the damage and began the road to recovery. Crisis management solutions can't anticipate every threat, but they should be agile enough and your people confident enough to adapt, improvise and overcome prevailing and emerging risks.

Our team has unprecedented experience in the area of crisis management across multiple sectors and in the military environment. The PwC Global Crisis centre provides the ability and capacity for peer benchmarking.

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Decision-making during a crisis

Crises are associated with heightened stress that impact the decision-making process. Making the right decisions is made more complex by time constraints, the volume of decisions to be made and the scarcity of available information.

Decision-making and communicating during crises are about getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Much of the groundwork to ensure effective communications can be addressed long before the onset of a crisis. This gives you time to fine tune your strategy and key messaging during a high-pressure, disruptive event. Effective communication is an essential tool in coordinating the response, containing the crisis and maintaining your reputation.

Our team has first hand experience of managing crises across all business sectors, public service, logistics, healthcare and during military operations. They can assist you in developing crisis communication plans and mitigate the risk of adding to or prolonging the severity of the crisis.

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Testing scenarios to ensure resilience

Crisis management and business continuity are often viewed as obscure concepts. There can be a mentality that disruption is "unlikely to happen to me". When it does, it can generate stress and indecision. While many risks are predictable and can be mitigated through effective management, it is impossible to foresee the nature or extent of every disruption. Crisis management plans are dependent on decisive leadership, people to implement them and executing an agile response. Unless your people are confident in their ability to function during a crisis and maintain business as usual, the road to recovery will be a long and difficult one. Realistic and considered training is the key to embedding a resilient mindset into the organisational culture and maintaining an effective capability ahead of the next crisis.

Our team has designed training and simulation programmes for multiple clients and in the military environment. These will increase your teams' ability and confidence to adapt existing plans and deliver an agile response to a variety of disruptive events.

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Our Operational Resilience services

Anticipate and prepare

Our approach to resilience focuses on four key services. Our industry agnostic framework addresses each of these components from a people, process, and technology perspective. We assume that disruptions are inevitable, and help you ensure established and mature processes exist across your organisation.

Firstly, we help you to maintain a state of informed preparedness to prevent compromise to your mission-critical functions. Understanding your existing capability to respond to a crisis means you know your strengths and weaknesses. You can then prioritise and allocate resources accordingly.

Our experienced teams and global network can help you prepare in the following areas:

  • Resilience maturity assessment
  • Resilience risk assessment
  • Crisis preparedness assessment
  • Dependency mapping (internal and external)
  • Incident response playbook development
  • Enterprise resilience strategy development
  • Cyber-recovery plan development
  • Resilience testing strategy and plan development
  • Disaster recovery strategy and build
  • Crisis programme build
  • Business continuity programme strategy and build

Withstand

Organisations which have comprehensive crisis management structures in place when disruption strikes can begin the recovery process immediately. Investing the time in practicing responses to realistic scenarios can help you identify gaps and strengths during "peacetime". Individuals and teams can build critical muscle memory to help carry them through a response to any crisis.

At the onset of a crisis, our teams can help you to withstand the initial stresses and confusion which disruption brings. You can continue mission critical functions despite a critical outage, limiting significant impact and downtime. We support you by providing:

  • Simulated recovery testing
  • Crisis simulations
  • Threat modelling
  • Crisis management governance planning
  • Crisis management planning
  • Crisis communications planning

Respond and recover

When a crisis strikes, it is vital to execute your response procedures and restore mission critical functions immediately.

We get to the heart of the matter so you can understand, prioritise, and address the crisis. That way, you can build confidence with your stakeholders, and take control of the situation.

During a crisis our teams can help by providing:

  • Regulatory remediation
  • Crisis response
  • Incident response investigation
  • Incident response crisis control centre assistance

Evolve and learn

Organisations who apply a lesson learned process are better able to endure further business shocks. By learning from experience, you can enhance your resilience processes and reduce impacts in the future.

The best crisis response decisions are fact-based. Likewise, the best crisis preparation efforts leverage a forensic study of your teams' actual crisis responses. Resilient responses demand an effective, efficient, and consistent coordination between your workstreams: legal and regulatory, operational, public relations and communications. Studying real-life events showcases what worked, what did not, and what could have worked better.

We can help you with:

  • Incident root cause analysis
  • Go-forward strategy
  • Crisis after action reviews
  • Resilience training
  • Business continuity training
  • Crisis simulation exercises

Contact us

Andy Banks

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6805

Pat Moran

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 5308

Jason Hickey

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 5190

Eric Timon

Senior Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6658

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