Geopolitics, regulations, and resilience

Posted on: November 27, 2023
Author: Grainne Mitchell

The latest crisis in the Middle East, the ongoing war in Ukraine, tensions over trade and technology – these are only some of the most acute geopolitical events to arise in recent times. These events, along with the ongoing challenges that we have all faced in a post-COVID world – including a displaced workforce, cyber threats, emerging regulations, supply chain risks, and more – have placed mounting pressures on every organization with global operations in ensuring not only compliance but also organizational visibility, employee safety, and the continuity of critical operations. They also emphasize the need for organizations to strengthen their business continuity (BC) and operational resilience programs as well as prioritize agility to mitigate emerging threats and ensure compliance with global regulatory mandates.

At Compass 2023, Fusion customers as well as presenters from our strategic partner, PwC, shared firsthand experiences in a panel session on geopolitics, regulations, and resilience. The discussions focused on how their organizations, as well as customers of PwC’s, have dealt with recent geopolitical challenges; how their teams are addressing emerging regulatory requirements; and their thoughts on preparing for the future. Numerous insights came out of the session that leaders and practitioners should leverage to strengthen their own business continuity and operational resilience programs. Keeping third-party risk management top of mind, building a stronger foundation of risk management, and working with and learning from industry peers were the top three agreed takeaways.

Third-party risk management in focus

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, organizations often rely on critical third parties to ensure that their operations are running smoothly. However, disruptions to these third parties can have a significant impact, particularly in times of geopolitical conflict. During the panel session, customers shared real-world examples of how a geopolitical crisis can impact an organization. A pharmaceutical provider explained how it had to quickly pivot and find alternate suppliers outside of affected areas to deliver life-saving goods and services following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Another U.S. customer noted that while their organization is solely domestic business, it still relies on third- or fourth-party vendors with international operations that have been affected by the crisis – highlighting the cascading effect that crises can have on any organization. These situations exemplify the need for a comprehensive third-party risk management (TPRM) strategy, which encourages organizations to dig deeper into their supply chains to uncover unseen dependencies. Having a robust TPRM program allows organizations to quickly pivot and activate predefined recovery strategies or create ad hoc recovery strategies to minimize operational impact.

The effects of recent global crises, such as COVID-19 along with supply chain disruptions including the Suez Canal blockage, have caused regulators to focus on enacting regulations around TPRM – particularly for critical sectors like the financial services sector due to the industry’s integral role in the global economy. The panel agreed that regulators are taking a more prescriptive approach to TPRM across the globe. The UK took the lead with the Bank of England (BoE), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) enforcing operational resilience regulations that set a standard for resilience. The EU followed with the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). Now, other jurisdictions including the U.S., Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Canada are following suit. As a result, a financial services provider on the panel said that his organization is now focused on integrating TPRM strategies alongside cloud migration projects.

The foundation of risk management

Truly resilient programs are built on the foundations of your risk management and business continuity strategies. In fact, one customer shared, “If you’re doing business continuity right, then you are resilient.” Every continuity practitioner and organization that is working to achieve resilience needs to have a dynamic program that creates a single operating view of their entire organization and that challenges them to take a broader view of resilience by understanding, from the top down, their organization’s most important, critical, or key business services. One customer detailed how they took a full end-to-end approach to business continuity mapping – and shared the positive response that was elicited from regulators, auditors, and executives. It is becoming increasingly evident that continuity and resilience are no longer just a competitive advantage but rather a critical component of compliance for regulated industries, and these programs can be an untapped source of valuable organizational insights and data.

Technology drives efficiency in processes and allows organizations to get more done with less. Another panelist shared that Fusion helped her organization phase out plan owner interviews, noting the Fusion platform’s ease of use for gathering and inputting data. Fusion’s market-leading platform, the Fusion Framework® System, is unique in its ability to help customers achieve operational resilience and business continuity faster, providing organizations with a holistic view of their critical services, processes, and dependencies through a single lens. This in turn allows organizations to respond with agility – when, not if, an incident or crisis emerges. With the power of a more informed, better prepared, and prioritized response, organizations will be able to clearly understand how their business can bend but not break when faced with challenges. One customer shared, “Fusion is the center of our universe, linking all of our critical data together.”

Technology that helps risk professionals is evolving, and one panelist shared how excited they are to integrate AI into their continuity and resilience programs. Our newly launched generative AI-powered assistant, Fusion Resilience Copilot™, will allow our customers to accelerate time-to-value, enhance their decision-making, increase productivity, and promote proactive risk management and dynamic continuity. This is all possible due to Resilience Copilot’s ability to offer best practice guidelines, expertise, and user-guided support that is powered by nearly 20 years of on-the-ground experience.

Learn from fellow industry professionals

Fusion’s ENGAGE community allows Fusion users to get together virtually and in person weekly, monthly, and annually. The ENGAGE program empowers Fusion users to consistently exchange ideas, expand their networks, be informed about Fusion product enhancements and capabilities, and strengthen their resilience ecosystem.

Seeing organizations across industries come together to help support each other – not just in times of crisis but also throughout their business continuity and operational resilience journeys – is inspiring. For example, during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Fusion customers have exchanged resources to help move employees, their families, and their pets out of affected areas to safety. This shows the true power of community and coming together in tough times.

Interested in learning more about how Fusion can help your organization navigate geopolitical crises, comply with evolving regulatory requirements, and achieve robust resilience with a technology-backed approach? Reach out to your Fusion Account Manager, schedule a demo for a deep dive into our solutions, or contact us to meet the Fusion team and learn more about how to join our customer community of over 300 organizations and thousands of active users that regularly participate in ENGAGE events.