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Pandemic seen as an opportunity to reinvent operations

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Every business needs to accept new ways of operating after COVID-19, creating “tremendous opportunity” for transformation at businesses which are prepared and act astutely, according to a leading US risk management expert.

Fusion Risk Management Senior VP Bob Sibik says one of the “true bright spots” during the pandemic lockdown has been strategic technology deployment.

“It would be a mistake to focus on simply returning to normal,” he says in a policy paper. “The best organizations will take advantage of this opportunity to do things differently.

“With the right vision, strategy, and a well-orchestrated plan, the return to a ‘new’ normal will position…organisations to become inherently resilient.”

The Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) says executives and business continuity practitioners are uniquely challenged to execute a prudent plan to return to the workplace safely and effectively.

“Business continuity and risk management will become as relevant to the C-suite as growth and cost reduction when developing strategies and goals for moving the organisation forward,” RIMS says.

Traditional business models have been “broken” and operating models forever changed, especially industries like hospitality, entertainment, sports, travel, dining, real estate, retail, education and training.

Organisations must not presume operations will return to “business as usual”, but must define what the post-pandemic “new normal” will be and the actions needed to effectively restart operations.

Office space will be redefined, RIMS says. New workspace regulations will require greater distancing to separate physical interaction, conference rooms will add more technology, and new floor plans to enable interactions over greater distances will be required.

“Many organisations will adopt a philosophy of “office as a service”, with office space no longer the daily destination for work but the place to go for collaboration and specific types of interactions.”

RIMS also warns that more information will be shared between organisations, creating security challenges and “exposing failures”. Customer retention and confidence will be “defined by their trust in your organisation”.

“Trust and brand will mean everything,” RIMS says. “Resiliency will be defined by your trust in your workforce, your IT systems, your infrastructure and your suppliers.”