Risk is a perpetual force in every business environment, but the form it takes is constantly evolving and change can come from any number of environmental, political, commercial and technological sources.

How each individual organisation deals with this risk – the extent to which it is able to foresee its future, adapt positively to change, and quickly bounce back from any crisis or period of adversity – goes a long way to defining its long term success or failure.

Reacting to incidents as and when they occur remains a common approach to establishing organisational resilience, one that putting preventative measures in place to minimise the effects of disruption, or even stop it from happening, can supplement to a certain extent.

But nobody can predict the future or prepare against the unknown. In some cases it may be better to concede daily disruption as a normal state of affairs and rather than seek to maintain business processes, focus on delivering the adaptive capacity to change those business processes as appropriate.

Effective resilience involves supporting a decision-making strategy which transcends individual business divisions and job roles to gather information from, and promote collaboration between, every part of the organisation, for example. And making sure that for any one possible scenario a number of different options – not just plan A and B, but also C, D and E – are available to help mitigate against any unfavourable outcome and that alternative strategies are regularly tested tovalidate their effectiveness.

Leadership and innovation can also play a pivotal role when it comes to the filtration of new ideas and positive thinking across the organisation. IDG Connect interviewed 100 IT decision makers working for large organisations in the UK to analyse how individual job roles see resilience from different perspectives and assess the extent to which resilience is being hampered by any lack of support from the IT department.

The majority of those polled (69%) worked for organisations employing 1,000 people or more. Respondents worked in a broad range of verticals, with software computer services (12%), finance (11%) and retail (9%) all well represented. An even split of IT managers and directors (40%) and C-level executives (43%) took part, with vice presidents, senior vice presidents and executive vice presidents making up the remainder.

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