The risk landscape is dynamic and evolving. Even after overcoming a crisis, another is always waiting to override your company’s operations. In fact, in the last 18 months, 99 percent of organizations experienced some type of incident; nearly 75 percent of organizations experienced at least two kinds of incidents. A “dark day” could easily be one of them. 

A “dark day” is a time when all or some of an organization’s critical systems or functions are down, impacting regular operations. Dark days can affect a business of any size, from large corporations to small businesses. Even government agencies and educational institutions aren’t immune to dark days. 

Here are a few steps your organization can take to overcome a dark day and be better prepared for the next one.

Assess the Situation

A critical event has brought your company’s operation to a halt: systems are down; traditional methods of communicating with your employees aren’t available or not working. Knowing what’s happening in a critical event is important. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the employees safe? Who can work?
  • Who is monitoring the situation? Is a secondary event likely?
  • How can the company share information and updates with customers and shareholders quickly?
  • How can the company navigate the event quickly and damage-free?
  • Should the company have seen this coming?

Becoming good at responding to crises is a trait of a company with organizational resilience. Resilient organizations can remain agile in the face of a dark day. 

Create a Foundation of Organizational Resilience

Organizations don’t become resilient overnight. Organizational resilience is the result of anticipation, preparedness and adaptability. A critical event management (CEM) platform can help build this foundation. The right CEM will integrate with your existing systems and help strengthen your organizational resilience. In fact, organizations using a CEM platform are 320 percent more likely to agree that risk can come from anywhere. 

Prepare on the Blue Sky Days

What does this mean? It means testing back-up measures, assessing your company’s risk management plan and more. Everything you do on a blue sky day — from relationship building to networking to building your strategy for when a dark day occurs — will lessen the impact of a dark day. Don’t wait until the day of a crisis to test out your risk management plan. Best practices include: knowing your area; knowing your risks and learning from new instances that occur; create and practice the plan; and take notes on redundancies. 

Mitigate Going Dark & Moving Forward

Mitigating the impact of a dark day is important: outages ruin the reputation of your brand, your company’s relationship with your customers, and can also be costly for your company. Additionally, crisis creates a vacuum in leadership and response. Being cool and calm on a dark day can set an example for your employees. There will always be unexpected risks that can happen in conjunction with a dark day; your company’s ability to eliminate them over time and constantly develop areas of concern will set your company up for success. And, if your company goes dark, document what problem was, how it was solved (if it was solved), who speared-headed action, and then debrief and implement a mitigation process. This can help you learn from your dark day to have blue skies ahead.