Balancing Business Resilience and Continuity Ahead of a Recession

Oct 17, 2022


Even though business continuity and resilience are constantly a top priority, they’re even more critical in the face of a potential recession.  When consumer buying power starts to dry up, finding the funds to support continuity and resilience initiatives becomes a lot harder. So even though it can be tempting to dump financial resources into a massive continuity and resilience initiative in preparation for a recession, it’s essential to first understand the roles of continuity and resilience during an economic downturn. Also, by understanding how continuity and resilience interact, you can make better strategic decisions about how to fund one or both.

What Is Business Continuity?

Business continuity refers to a company’s ability to maintain operations during a potential disruption, such as a natural disaster or a cybersecurity issue. Continuity efforts typically focus on using:

  • Backups the business can rely on in the event a primary system or data source fails
  • Redundant systems, which can be spun up if an incident impacts the main system
  • Emergency protocols and strategies that assign specific responsibilities and action plans to individuals and departments to help them prepare for an incident

What Is Resilience?

Even though business continuity and resilience sometimes work in parallel and intersect, they are two different things. While business continuity focuses on keeping operations running despite a potentially disruptive event, business resiliency focuses on putting systems and technologies in place to help a business bounce back after an incident has brought things to a halt.

Resiliency initiatives often involve:

  • Customized insurance policies designed to offset the costs of getting core systems running again and dealing with cyber attacks
  • Backups a company can use to replace stolen or damaged digital assets
  • Emergency discretionary funds set aside to handle expenses associated with helping the business bounce back as soon as possible after an event

How Business Continuity and Resilience Intersect During a Recession

Leading up to a recession, it’s best to presume you won’t have enough funds to quickly invest in purchasing continuity and resilience tools—or be able to dedicate a lot of human resources towards training staff. Therefore, before a recession hits, it’s best to identify how continuity and resiliency intersect, so you don’t have to make duplicate investments. For example:

  • You can support both resiliency and continuity by establishing data backup & disaster recovery systems and strategies.
  • Both continuity and resiliency can benefit from redundant systems, such as servers and networking components.
  • Whether you’re trying to attain continuity or resiliency, having a backup internet service provider (ISP) can make it easier to maintain business-critical internet connections, such as those with remote servers and cloud services.

However, when it comes to continuity and resiliency during a recession, this is where the similarities end. For most organizations, the focus during a recession should be more on resiliency instead of continuity. One reason is that continuity tools can be purchased, and protocols can be put in place long before an event and updated as necessary. But resiliency, especially during an economic downturn, requires a very different strategy. Here’s why.

Why Resiliency is Important Ahead of a Recession

You want to focus on resiliency ahead of a recession because a tough economic climate can introduce a whole new set of challenges, such as:

  • Difficulty maintaining production due to stalled supply chains.
  • Sharp increases in your cost of goods sold (COGS) due to more expensive components, ingredients, or raw materials.
  • A shortage of talent due to people moving to companies they view as either more stable or profitable, as a defense mechanism against un- or underemployment.

In addition, when revenues drop, the impact of a normal disaster, hack, or other business interruption could be even more severe simply because you no longer have the financial freedom to get things back up and running as fast as you’d like.

How Business Continuity Can Support Resiliency Ahead of a Recession

Even though business resiliency often takes a front seat in the lead-up to and during a recession, continuity resources and strategies can help ease the burden resiliency may have to handle. In other words, an effective continuity can serve as a preventative measure, strengthening your infrastructure to the point where resiliency is a moot point.

For example, a company with significant amounts of customer payment data can use continuity tools to preclude the need for a resiliency strategy. For instance, by keeping payment data on a parallel, redundant server, the IT team can maintain continuity by automatically spinning that up if their primary one gets hacked and needs to be shut down.

By investing in continuity measures ahead of a recession, you can prevent many significant interruptions that would necessitate a resiliency strategy, specifically when it comes to your network. For guidance on making sure your network solutions are recession-ready, you can rely on technology consulting from Robust Networks. Set up an appointment today to learn more.