The Covid -19 pandemic has clearly shown two trends within firms:
- The intensified use of technology and
- Operations can be managed through digital work force also.
The pandemic-related disruption has impacted processes, people, service providers, customers, internal systems, employees, and facilities.
Regulators across the globe are concerned that, as dependability on technology and digital way of working has increased, there is an additional pressure to ensure that processes, technology, facilities etc. are working smoothly, as these could have direct impact on customers and other stake holders.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has issued Principles for Operational Resilience to save the financial sector from future disruptions.
The objective of this principle is –
To help the financial institutions recover from the adverse events and again stand as solid institutions.
The UK Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority has issued regulatory guidelines on operational resilience, with the purpose to give extra security to the customers and the overall financial system.
The firms should not just be clear about identifying operations but also maps the internal and external interconnections and interdependencies for better understanding on how to deliver critical business services.
The operationally resilient firm is expected to have a comprehensive understanding and mapping of the systems and processes that support their business services. This includes both internal and those over which the firm may not have direct control i.e. outsourcing and third-party service providers as well.
The firms are required to go more in-depth besides performing the task and process to identify and document the procedure, technology, people, and third parties. To analyze these minute details is a challenging task, even for smaller firms. Creating detailed process manuals is more a compliance requirement, however it may not cover the detailed resource mapping requirement, which is so critical for the operational resilience framework.
Firms should look at process visualization tools to accelerate the operational resilience initiatives. Many firms are using process visualization tools which help in drawing, visualizing, and mapping multiple elements to an activity or a task.
To discover which applications are used to perform the task, which role carries out that task, which regulation addresses this task, how the task is actually carried out in the internal or external application etc. are all captured by the process visualization tool.
To have a complete view of their resilience, firms will need to identify and map the people, processes, technology, facilities and information necessary to deliver each of a firm’s critical business services.
The process mapping exercise helps to identify vulnerabilities and/or weaknesses in the delivery of critical business services within an impact tolerance and enable firms to act to remedy these as appropriate. Vulnerabilities and/or weaknesses may include lack of substitutability, high complexity, single points of failure, concentration risk, dependencies on third parties and matters outside of a firm’s control eg: power failures and others.
Mapping should allow firms to test their ability to stay within impact tolerances. To design and understand the full implications of scenarios, a complete map of the relevant business services is necessary.