According to Gartner, operational resilience is defined as \u201cinitiatives that expand business continuity management programs to focus on the impacts, connected risk appetite, and tolerance levels for disruption of product or service delivery to internal and external stakeholders.\u201d\n\nIf the word \u201cdisruption\u201d sounds familiar, it\u2019s because we\u2019re living in one of the most volatile times in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic created major challenges for supply chains and third-party relationships, which in turn has had a ripple effect on the market and an organisation\u2019s ability to provide products and services. In that sense, operational resilience is now imperative for organisations. As governance, risk, and compliance challenges continue evolving, the constant rise of new regulations also requires the implementation of a strong integrated risk management plan.\n\nWhy is Operational Resilience Needed?\n\nSo how did operational resilience suddenly become such a hot topic? The pandemic, Brexit, cyberattacks, and operational failures have forced organisations to identify their most critical business services, consider vulnerabilities that are broader than cyberattacks and IT failures, and define a consistent approach to prevent, adapt, and respond. In essence, operational resilience ensures protection against various mishaps that can arise within an organisation. And those threats such as the pandemic have made the construction of this framework even more vital.\n\nRecently, we\u2019ve learned a lot about the way the world works under pressure. For one, we need to be able to look at what processes used to work, which ones are still useful, and which ones are broken and need change. Often, organisations will find that pre-COVID processes were largely manual and would not be applicable in today\u2019s era, especially when considering the sheer number of organisations with a hybrid or work from home model. While these changes can seem overwhelming and maybe even uncomfortable to an extent, it\u2019s the root of what operational resilience is. Being able to pivot in times of change, while displaying grit and determination, will lead to positive adoptions when transformation is least expected. Small amounts of progress soon lead to large-scale noticeable change, which will prove beneficial to an organisation from top to bottom.\n\nAchieving Operational Resilience Through Risk Management\n\nOne of the first steps in achieving strong operational resilience is understanding the volume and velocity of interconnected risks that exists within the organisation, as well as third-party risks. Then, the shift can be made to automated processes. Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) technology has rocketed to the forefront for organisations that want to make their routine processes \u2013 whether it\u2019s financial, human resources, marketing, or otherwise \u2013 as efficient as possible. That being said, human intelligence still reigns supreme, especially when logical decisions are involved, because of the direct proximity to the process at hand.\n\nAI also allows for multiple risks to be managed simultaneously, which becomes especially prevalent in times of chaos. In contrast, a disorderly, manual process to manage risks can impede progress.\n\nFinding Stability in Times of Chaos\n\nSpeaking of managing multiple risks at the same time \u2013 what happens when conflicting regulatory priorities come to the surface? After all, there are over 200 new compliance regulations a day, according to Boston Consulting Group. Because of this, an organisation is bound to face a dilemma when considering which regulation to sort through first. Not only do global companies need to constantly be aware of these regulations, but having a holistic view of regulatory requirements can uncover issues that were previously hidden. Once again, AI can establish a common risk platform that leads to a singular number assessing an organisation\u2019s risk standpoint. Outside of AI, regulatory priorities can be handled within boardrooms, where executives can build practical solutions to manage risks while forming a consensus opinion on their risk management landscape.\n\nEven when the best laid out risk management plan is thought-through, however, several external threats can arise, such as security breaches and ransomware attacks. While no risk management plan is inherently perfect, a carefully-designed solution that is executed properly is the best form of crisis management for an organisation.\n\nLooking Ahead to the Future of Operational Resilience\n\nAn integrated risk management approach is key to achieving operational resilience regardless of what type of business you lead. As Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) solutions become more sophisticated, data gradually moves from qualitative to quantitative. This means that information that was once complex and difficult to sort through is now easy to understand and to translate into action.\n\nOnce again, AI can only do so much on its own \u2013 people must retain active involvement in the risk management process. For example, it is critical to engage the frontline, as they are often your first line of defence. You need to equip them with the physical tools to adhere to all compliance and regulatory policies. Furthermore, combining digital platforms with AI allows risk leaders to interpret and learn from data, highlight patterns, and effect specific tasks and outcomes.\n\nIf it was not obvious by now, a strong risk management solution is the backbone to being operationally resilient. With proper processes in place to mitigate and attack risks before they become a real threat, the likelihood of chaos ensuing in the wake of a crisis becomes much less. The pandemic is just one example of how companies can get derailed when issues such as flaws in the supply chain arise.\n\nAlthough the decisions involved in managing growing threats or potential attacks and compliance issues may seem overwhelming, the truth is, achieving operational resilience is not as far-reaching as organisations once envisioned. Integrated risk management becomes the key to achieving operational resilience and helping you turn volatility into order.\n\nClick here to learn more about MetricStream\u2019s solutions for achieving operational resilience.