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The Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) recently released its 7th Annual BCM Trends and Predictions Report, which provides predictions for resilience trends for 2022.

There are ten predictions in the report, but this article will explore 5 with the highest impacts on your organization’s business continuity management initiatives. Business continuity planners must always look for such trends to ensure that their plans stay updated and effective over time.

1. Pandemic (ongoing)

While the Covid-19 pandemic is not over even in the countries where vaccination rates are high, it is hard to turn our attention to what comes next. The virus is still claiming many lives around the world. 

Unfortunately, as the public health emergency will eventually recede over time, it is likely to be replaced by other challenges. Actions taken to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 have created problems elsewhere. The social issues left behind vary from country to country, depending on domestic policy and the resilience of particular societies.

2. Cyber Threats

Organizations of all types and sizes can be affected by cyber threats, even if they are not the direct target of an attack. Cyber attacks on business partners or even government agencies can often pose a more significant risk than direct attacks. Cyber threats such as malware, ransomware and data breaches can lead to the destruction or leaking of sensitive information about an organization’s employees, customers, or intellectual property.

Making matters worse is that this sensitive information is usually shared in some capacity with other entities that may not employ adequate cyber protection. Even though cyber attacks are not a new concept, how they are carried out always evolves and new vulnerabilities are discovered as soon as old ones are fixed.

The DRI predicts that large-scale cyberattacks will likely continue to impact critical infrastructure. Such attacks would have a drastic effect on any organization operating within the countries, as they may lead to the publication of protected data or the disruption of critical services provided by government agencies.

3. IT Extended Outages

IT extended outages (such as denial of access or use of essential IT services) will continue to be a major concern in 2022. In 2021, we’ve seen extended outages of the major social media platforms and some of the cloud service providers. Dependency on the availability of IT systems and infrastructure has never been higher.

4. Natural Disasters

Climate change and an increase in extreme weather events both pose a big problem for business continuity planners. Floods and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and often more severe. Business continuity strategies must reflect these changes in both probability and severity as they are likely to continue rising in 2022.

Another consideration is the fact that most countries are moving from rural to urban economies (other than a recent trend caused by the global pandemic), which means weather events can affect more people and organizations than before. Many long-standing temperature and weather event records were broken around the world from 2019-2021, and 2022 is likely to be no different. Failing to see changes in weather trends will undoubtedly lead to failures in business continuity planning.

5. Data Theft and Misuse

Data theft and misuse are not new on the DRI’s Trends and Predictions report. Data theft and privacy breaches are a global problem with large organizational impacts. 

The Path Forward

This list does not encompass every trend we are likely to see in 2022. Still, it does provide a good baseline organizational business continuity planners should take into consideration.

Being aware of these risks is vital, but we recognize that incorporating them into real business continuity plans is a different challenge in and of itself.

BCM Training

Alextec Advisory is a Licensed DRI International Partner. We offer a number of Business Continuity Management Courses and Workshops.