Forrester: Business resilience will help organizations attain competitive advantage

Resiliency has become a big buzzword in the past year, but it's important not to overlook why this is a key trait for business success. A new report from Forrester discusses the criticality of planning and executing a future fit strategy to become resilient and pivot during a crisis.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some firms were able to pivot quickly and successfully to new opportunities. Others, Forrester said, were able to fill market gaps left by competitors who were unable to cope.

A resilient organization is one that has "the ability ... to deliver on its vision and brand promise, no matter the crisis," wrote the authors of "Business Resilience As A Competitive Advantage." Such firms grew at a rate of 2.4 times their industry average, according to Forrester's Q3 2020 North American Future Fit Technology Survey.

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Firms with resilient practices had other notable traits. Among them:

Seven pillars of business resiliency

The Forrester report also details how to achieve business resiliency and lists seven pillars that it recommends organizations master. They are:

Forrester further advises organizations to invest in "resilience-specific technologies,'' such as digital process automation, robotic process automation and low-code platforms.

Most firms weren't ready for COVID-19 because they believed the risk of a pandemic was too remote to consider in their planning, Forrester said. By failing to prepare, these firms were not prepared to succeed, the report said.

"However, for those that had honed their resilience practices, COVID-19 provided new ways to reach existing customers and to get new ones,'' the report said. "Tech execs have a key role in ensuring that their firms are ready for the unexpected, especially as businesses expand their dependence on technologies and digital transformation to succeed."

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