Back in January, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) released its Horizon Scan Report for 2019. As stated in the BCI Good Practice Guidelines 2018, ‘Horizon scanning is used to monitor and identify potential threats to an organization and considers longer term change and underlying trends.’

Included in the report is a summary of the top ten disruptions from the past twelve months – and the top ten threats for the next twelve months. The top ten threats outlined for 2019 were:

  1. Cyber attack and data breach
  2. IT and telecom outage
  3. Adverse weather/natural disaster
  4. Critical infrastructure failure
  5. Reputation incident
  6. Regulatory changes
  7. Lack of talent/key skills
  8. Supply chain disruption
  9. Interruption to utility supply
  10. Political change

This year, a number of cyber attacks involving high profile companies (including Google and Huawei) and government organisations across the world have occurred, proving that you need to consider cyber security and what systems you have in place to protect your business. This links directly to number 5 on the list: reputation incidents. If you are the victim of a cyber attack where customer data is leaked, your customers are likely to struggle to trust you, which could have a detrimental effect on your business.

At the opposite end of the list is political change. This is huge topic in the UK at the moment with Brexit on the horizon. Many businesses are still not prepared for Brexit, despite talks around it first starting three years ago. Multiple Brexit extensions have given businesses more time to prepare, but it’s crucial that they use this time wisely and make sure they are set up to deal with the circumstances surrounding the UK leaving the EU when the time finally comes.

Going into 2020, it is likely that ‘political change’ will creep higher up the list – but what else might we see in the top ten for the next 12 months?

To read the full BCI report click here.