The Uncertainty with Brexit

February 26, 2019

As 29 March 2019 nears, the uncertainty with Brexit continues to grow. Many organisations have not fully grasped what this means for their business, but it is clear that it will likely be the largest operational business resilience undertaking most UK organisations will face.

A majority of organisations are focusing on the high level financial impacts, while ignoring business continuity and risk impacts that are no less important. Preparing financially for a completely new economic structure is imperative, but planning for other aspects such as changes to privacy and security laws, employment regulations, trading legislation, and more is still key to successfully navigating Brexit through it’s full lifecycle. Each upcoming change comes with its own set of potential risks, many of which organisation’s will have little control over.

However, many things can be accounted for by educating organisations on their operational risks along with their the financial risks. Now there is no way to be fully prepared for this magnitude of change, especially right now when so much is still to be decided, but organisations must stay up-to-date to make informed decisions on new legislation, cross border agreements, resources, residency, etc. This not only means up-to-date on the state of Brexit, but also up-to-date on organisational data necessary for business resilience.

What’s next is organisation’s must run exercises and simulations with all of the factors in line to help prepare programs for the upcoming changes. Unfortunately for many, the time given to business operational and resiliience teams will probably be far smaller than those given to financial impact managers to prepare for Brexit. According to a CBI survey, 48 percent of participants said the cost required to make contingency plans is prohibitive, while 47 percent find the complexity of the information challenging.* This could lead to some organisation’s not running test simulation exercises as a part of their strategy, and ultimately not being prepared for the impacts of Brexit.

The heart of these issues is storing the correct information in an easily accessible vessel like an information foundation. Having clear and up-to-date access and visibility to who owns what process, site, and object transposed over the associated impacts of failure will be key to managing the threat of Brexit.

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*http://www.cbi.org.uk/cbi-prod/assets/File/FINAL-Brexit-preparedness-survey-write-up.pdf

Peter Fordham,
Director of Client Engagement