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Before all of the year-end articles start coming in, we thought it would be a good time to reach out to several business continuity experts to get a jump on the most pressing concerns facing resilience professionals.

Prior to the U.S. election, many of our Disaster Recovery Journal Executive Council and Editorial Advisory Board members were thinking about the possibility of civil unrest.

“My first thought is, ‘ask after the election,’” said Joe Layman of ACP Orange County. “The two sides have their own approaches which could impact, positive or negative, the workplace and the economy.”

“The growing unrest in our country, may well spill into 2021 based on election results,” said retired business continuity executive John Jackson. “This may cause widespread destruction for companies with retail establishments and fear for people going out in public of riots, road rage, significant increase in gun ownership, etc.”

Pandemic-related topics continue to dominate the resilience industry. Our experts mentioned COVID-fatigue, preparing for a “second wave,” remote worker security and productivity, and comprehensive operational resilience in the “new normal.”

“What will [normal] look like?” asked Jeff Dato of Volunteer Corporate Credit Union. “When will we transition? How will employees and customers adapt?”

Dato also mentioned the logistics of conducting exercises in a work from home environment and issues regarding changing business models due to the pandemic. Organizations must continue to meet the needs of new and existing customers to succeed or even remain in business.

Almost all of our experts mentioned cybersecurity or ransomware.

“Cybersecurity is one of my concerns today,” said Selma Coutinho of Ericsson. “Being really prepared to handle a cyber-attack is one of our priorities.”

Top industry concerns for 2021 include:

  • pandemic-related impacts
  • cyber-attack/ransomware
  • civil unrest
  • budgets/economic impacts
  • supply chain disruptions/vendor management
  • natural disasters
  • automation
  • legal liabilities
  • physical security risk to facility, assets, employees
  • business model changes
  • manual processes/human error
  • human capital/key person risk

Protecting the health, welfare, and productivity of all employees continues to be at the heart of almost every organization, but retaining key personnel is also a priority.

“There are a lot of opportunities out there and key persons are being enticed away,” said Dan Bailey of Gateway First Bank.

Special thanks to James Green, John Jackson, Damian Walch, Joe Layman, Vicki McKim, Sue Hornstra, Margaret Millett, Selma Coutinho, Jayme Rick, Belinda Wilson, Ann Pickren, Jeff Dato and Dan Bailey for taking part in this impromptu survey.

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