Teaming Up For Disaster Mitigation

How BCG and BCG Platinion were on hand to enhance resilience in a European region hit by the worst catastrophe in its recent history.

Everybody is feeling the impact of climate change on the environment – for instance, in the form of dramatic natural disasters in areas that were previously rarely affected. As such, a catastrophic natural disaster in the heart of a Europe has severe consequences, including loss of lives and livelihood. BCG and BCG Platinion were immediately on hand to enhance resilience in a European region hit by the worst catastrophe in its recent history. The team worked with passion and deliberation to develop a sustainable and resilient concept to better deal with similar situations in the future.

The Challenge

A major natural disaster devastated a region in the heart of Europe and destroyed thousands of private and public buildings as well as nearly all the surrounding infrastructure. Residents were directly affected, losing houses, businesses, and other properties. Damages amounted to billions of euros. Due to the massive impact, the local public infrastructure was not available for subsequent disaster relief and reconstruction. Public services and the supporting IT-Infrastructure were destroyed.


The first priority was, of course, to help the affected population with reconstruction assistance and financial support. Secondly, resilience had to be strengthened in the medium- to long-term, so that potential future catastrophes can be dealt with more effectively.


BCG supported the local and state administrations afterwards by defining a long-term strategy. The strategy focus was to enhance resilience, restore tourist attractions, and boost overall business strength. The team used a One BCG approach, utilizing BCG’s strategic capabilities as well as the deep IT expertise of BCG Platinion.


The Approach

The starting point was an in-depth analysis of the root causes of the disaster. This was done in close cooperation with local stakeholders through data collection via interviews and workshops. Recommendations for further actions were derived from a quantitative assessment of all the information we gathered. The team also collected and structured the requirements for rebuilding and enhancing destroyed or damaged infrastructure. After assessing the situation and the necessary remedies, measures with the highest impact for long-term sustainable goals were defined.


To boost future IT resilience, BCG Platinion supports the formation of a joint IT service center by leveraging its expertise in cloud technology and architecture, as well as in IT capability design and IT organization. The latter was helpful for purposefully defining the service offering, while the cloud technology and architecture will ensure continuous operation even in case of another disaster. Moreover, the occurrence exposed shortcomings in early warning systems and procedures. To remedy that, BCG and BCG Platinion defined an approach to introduce an appropriate system leveraging technology based on the Internet of Things.


The Impact

Working closely with local stakeholders and directly impacted people, the team really makes a difference. In the current design phase, it leverages deep, IT-specific knowledge to significantly improve the organizational structure and IT resilience of the affected communities. Success will be measured through the City Resilience Index (CRI). The envisioned joint IT service center shall provide higher service availability through the use of fail-safe software and hardware infrastructures, including cloud capabilities. Should there be a reoccurrence of the previous disaster or any other catastrophe, an early warning system can decrease the reaction times for emergency services and residents. This will most certainly protect people and help reduce damage.


Looking to the future

Local citizens shall benefit from improved public IT services provided by the joint IT service center and its increased resilience in case of future catastrophes. Additionally, the professionalization of the public service coverage should be advantageous to residents and administrations alike. Henceforth, one single entity will supply a consolidated service catalog instead of the fragmented service range that was the norm for quite some time. Furthermore, a modern IT architecture will make upgrades to the public IT structure easier.


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