The SAS Resiliency Rules report explores the global resiliency landscape. This report highlights country-specific findings about the ongoing market challenges, the difference between an importance in attaining resiliency versus perceived resiliency, and the principles companies need to follow to drive business resiliency.

Our research defines resiliency as the ability of an organization to prepare for, and respond to, disruption by putting in place the systems, structure and culture to quickly adapt to market changes. There are five rules organizations need to follow to prepare for the impact of market disruptions:

The Resiliency Rules 

  • Speed and Agility: Adapt to changing market conditions quickly. 
  • Innovation: Accelerate advances through data-led insights. 
  • Equity and Responsibility: Innovate while ensuring ethical standards are applied during the design, development and use of transformative technologies. 
  • Data Culture and Literacy: Build a data-driven focus that instills data literacy across the entire organization. 
  • Curiosity: Harness the power of exploration to drive insights that fuel innovation and impact. 

While this report focuses on results in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg as a region, to fully understand how Benelux executives fare against business leaders in other regions, visit the global report found here. 


For the global research, a sample of 2,414 senior executives from 12 countries (Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States) working in five industries (financial services, government, health care/life sciences, manufacturing and retail/consumer goods) participated in an online survey from Dec. 16, 2022, to Jan. 4, 2023, to examine and understand their current efforts and perspectives on business resiliency.

This report’s analyses are based on data collected from participating respondents in the Benelux countries (n=323; Belgium n=159, Netherlands n=108, Luxembourg n=56).

Key Findings 

Benelux executives view resiliency as critical to address market changes, but a discrepancy exists between its perceived importance and how executives view their company. Virtually all (99%) executives believe resiliency is very or somewhat important. While 45% of Benelux executives view their company as very resilient, more than half (51%) say they are not fully equipped to face disruption.

Benelux executives are confident about closing the resiliency gap. Most business leaders (83%) are confident about achieving resiliency in their companies and presumably closing the gap with the right counsel. Business leaders admit their company needs guidance to implement an effective resiliency strategy, especially those in Luxembourg (93%) compared to Belgium (81%) and Netherlands (81%). 

Indexing executives based on an assessment of their company’s state of resiliency creates a picture about high-resiliency organizations effectively modeling a path toward greater resiliency. Overall, 18% of Benelux executives surveyed index as leading a highly resilient organization, with 29% of executives in Luxembourg falling in this category and 16% in Belgium and the Netherlands. High-resiliency executives address key regional challenges as they feel more equipped to face disruption, already have existing resiliency measures, and prioritize analytics and AI to navigate the changing environment. 

The Resiliency Rules are widely recognized as important drivers for business resiliency; data and analytics are considered essential for each rule. Of the five, speed and agility is deemed “most important” to remain competitive. About 9 in 10 Benelux business leaders say data and analytics are essential for implementing each of the rules.  

Challenges related to investment and implementing the rules are prevalent among Benelux executives. Aligned with responses from the general global study, business leaders face challenges with cost and data quality. Benelux executives point to outdated technology as a key pain point for implementing speed and agility. As a result of these barriers, approximately 60% of the respondents say they have been unsuccessful in applying the Resiliency Rules. To better execute, Benelux executives are looking to external consultants, particularly for equity and responsibility (38%) and data culture and literacy (36%). 

Benelux Results 

Executives in Benelux know they need a resiliency strategy to help them come out on top against ongoing challenges. 

Perception of the current economy is more positive in Benelux compared to global counterparts (36%), particularly in Belgium and Luxembourg with about half of executives (48% and 52%, respectively) believing their countries’ economy is very strong. The Netherlands is more on par with the global view; only a third (35%) of executives say the country’s economy is strong. And when it comes to their company’s resiliency, half (51%) of Benelux business leaders are not very confident.

When asked about business challenges, four in 10 executives noted concern about inflation and economic headwinds (43%). Several factors contribute to this perceived instability. The list of issues to tackle includes:

  • Data security (49%). 
  • Sustainability (49%). 
  • Attracting and retaining talent (48%). 
  • Driving digital transformation (48%). 
  • Reduced customer demand (46%). 
  • Driving new technology innovations (44%). 
  • Reaching customers across channels (44%). 
  • Ongoing impact of COVID-19 pandemic (44%). 
  • Improving productivity (43%). 

Increased fraud is one of the top challenges for executives in the Netherlands (47%), and only slightly less so in Belgium (40%) and Luxembourg (39%).

Additionally, the research revealed Luxembourg and Dutch executives are more concerned than Belgian executives in addressing issues related to driving digital transformation (Belgium: 43%, Netherlands: 52%, Luxembourg: 54%), reaching customers across channels (Belgium: 39%, Netherlands: 47%, Luxembourg: 50%). Belgian executives are more concerned with issues related to data security (Belgium: 54%, Netherlands: 42%, Luxembourg: 46%).

Despite these challenges, Benelux business leaders are relatively optimistic about the future, and business resiliency plays a key role:

  • Benelux executives (83%) feel the economy is headed in the right direction. Belgian and Luxembourg executives are more optimistic about their countries’ futures (Belgium: 89%, Netherlands: 67%, Luxembourg: 95%) 
  • The majority of executives in Benelux (86%) acknowledge business resiliency helps reduce the immediate impact of crises by enabling companies to prepare for disruption. Luxembourg executives are more likely to agree that resiliency has an immediate impact (Belgium: 84%, Netherlands: 83%, Luxembourg: 98%).  

Facing a resiliency gap in Benelux 

 Business resiliency is a critical business imperative in Benelux, but analysis reveals a gap between the strategic importance of resiliency and the reality of many organizations today. 

Benelux executives consider resiliency a vital business priority, and its importance has grown over the past three years: 

  • 90% say they have resiliency measures in place to prepare for unforeseen challenges. 
  • For virtually all (99%) business leaders, attaining resiliency is an essential factor in being prepared for any type of disruption. 
  • 80% consider resiliency much more important today than in 2020.  

Like their global counterparts, the importance executives in Benelux place on resiliency differs dramatically from how they feel about their own company, creating a gap between aspiration and reality. However, this gap is less intense in Luxembourg. Executives are aware of this disparity and know they need help closing this gap:  

  • 44% of Belgian executives, 42% of Dutch executives and 52% of executives in Luxembourg consider their company very resilient.  
  • More than half (59%) of Benelux executives are not, or are sporadically, considering resiliency planning for their company. 
  • This is true for only a third of Luxembourg executives (Belgium: 64%, Netherlands: 67%, Luxembourg: 36%). 
  • The majority of executives facing the Resiliency Gap (85%) indicate they need help building an effective strategy. More executives in Luxembourg stated a need for help (Belgium: 81%, Netherlands: 81%, Luxembourg: 93%).  

Executives believe the Resiliency Gap is solvable. And the majority of Benelux executives are confident they can attain resiliency (83%). Executives shared the following benefits of a resiliency strategy: 

  • Strengthens customer confidence (88%). 
  • Increases market share by ensuring the systems, structure and culture to adapt to changing market conditions (88%). 
  • Improving business insights through data and analytics (87%). 
  • Ensuring technology functionality (87%) and business performance (87%) can be restored much more rapidly. 
  • Creating a positive impact on sustainability (71%) and talent acquisition and hiring (73%). Comparing the countries, more executives in Belgium and the Netherlands call out sustainability, and more Luxembourg executives call out talent acquisition and hiring as a benefit. 
Resiliency Benefits  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg 
Sustainability  74%  70%  63% 
Talent acquisition and hiring  72%  70%  80% 


The Resiliency Index in Benelux 

High-resiliency executives in Benelux are more successful in addressing key issues. They use data and analytics often to address challenges. 

The Resiliency Index was created to understand the global business landscape and where resiliency fits into a business’s priority and investment. The assessment was based on aggregating metrics associated with executives’ perceptions of their company’s resiliency state. Three categories make up the Resiliency Indexing Benelux: high-, moderate- and low-resiliency.1  

  • 18% of executives were indexed as high resiliency.  
  • 60% of executives were indexed as moderate resiliency.  
  • 22% of executives were indexed as low resiliency. 

 More executives in Luxembourg fall in the high resiliency category (29%) compared to Dutch (16%) and Belgian (16%) business leaders. 

By comparing responses from executives in each category, you get a picture of how high-resiliency executives differ in how they perceive their business operations and prioritization: 

  1. Success at addressing many business-critical issues in the past few years:
  • Data security (47% high resiliency vs. 38% low resiliency).
  • Sustainability (55% high resiliency vs. 43% low resiliency).
    • Companies should particularly look to high-indexing executives in the Netherlands for how to successfully implement sustainability practices. 65% of high-resiliency executives in the Netherlands perceive themselves as very successful, followed by 56% in Luxembourg and 48% in Belgium.
  • Attracting and retaining talent (53% high resiliency vs. 24% low resiliency).
  • Driving digital transformation (47% high resiliency vs. 35% low resiliency).
  • Reduced customer demand (45% high resiliency vs. 36% low resiliency).
  • High-resiliency business leaders in the Netherlands trail behind the other Benelux countries with only 35% noting success, compared to half of Belgium (48%) and Luxembourg (50%) executives.

2. Attribute three existing key factors to their business success:

  • Have existing internal resiliency measures in place (91% high resiliency vs. 83% low resiliency).
  • Prioritize analytics and AI when it’s time to navigate disruption (86% high resiliency vs. 32% low resiliency).
  • Equipped to face economic instability and disruption (85% high resiliency vs. 25% low resiliency).

3. Believe resiliency affects more than just business connectivity:

  • In addition to ensuring technology functionality can be restored rapidly (90%), executives shared business performance (97%) and strengthening customer confidence (97%) as important benefits to their organization.

A Look at the Resiliency Rules in Benelux 

Benelux executives believe all five Resiliency Rules are important to consider with resiliency planning; companies should avoid prioritizing a single rule at the expense of others. 

Most Benelux business leaders view each rule as very important, with speed and agility ranking at the top: 

  Speed and agility  Equity and responsibility  Curiosity  Innovation  Data culture and literacy 
Importance of rule  58%  46%  47%  46%  48% 


Business leaders in Luxembourg are more likely to recognize the importance of the Resiliency Rules: 

  • Speed and agility (73% Luxembourg, 46% Netherlands, 60% Belgium).  
  • Equity and responsibility (50% Luxembourg, 44% Netherlands, 46% Belgium). 
  • Curiosity (68% Luxembourg, 44% Netherlands, 42% Belgium). 
  • Innovation (55% Luxembourg, 37% Netherlands, 48% Belgium). 
  • Data culture and literacy (61% Luxembourg, 45% Netherlands, 45% Belgium). 

 Challenges to resiliency in Benelux are tied to lack of investment and a struggle to implement.   

Despite most executives in Benelux stating the rules drive resiliency, less than half prioritize investment across the rules, and less than half believe they are successful in implementing them in their company.  

  Speed and agility  Equity and responsibility  Curiosity  Innovation  Data culture and literacy 
Driver of resiliency  80%  76%  76%  75%  74% 
Cited as high prioritization for investment  47%  45%  43%  45%  42% 
Very successful at implementing rule  41%  43%  40%  44%  45% 


We asked executives where they need the most investment and help. Equity and responsibility narrowly ranked at the top:  

  • Equity and responsibility (38%).
  • Data culture and literacy (36%).
  • Innovation (33%).
  • Curiosity (32%).
  • Speed and agility (30%).

Taking a closer look into each of the Resiliency Rules, we found a common critical element – data and analytics. 

Data and analytics play an essential role in each of the five Resiliency Rules. However, various data issues related to quality, integration and security are the primary barrier to implementing the rules. 

Benelux executives perceive that data and analytics have a huge impact on implementing the Resiliency Rules: 

  • Speed and agility (95%).
  • Curiosity (91%).
  • Data culture and literacy (90%).
  • Innovation (88%).
  • Equity and responsibility (88%).

When it comes to barriers, executives shared that data quality, data integration and cybersecurity issues are the top barriers in most of the rules. In the case of speed and agility, outdated technology tools were a key issue: 

Speed and agility  Equity and responsibility  Curiosity  Innovation  Data culture and literacy 
  • Data integration issues (48%) 
  • Outdated technology tools (35%) 
  • Data quality issues (33%) 
  • Driving effective insights from data (33%) 




  • Data quality issues (45%) 
  • Lack of workforce skills (39%) 
  • Cybersecurity risks (39%) 
  • High costs (33%) 




  • Communicating the benefits of curiosity (59%) 
  • Developing curiosity in employees who don't naturally have it (57%) 
  • Identifying situations or problems for which curiosity is most useful (56%) 
  • Lack of consistent understanding of what curiosity in employees is (47%) 
  • Cybersecurity risks (35%) 
  • Regulatory uncertainty (35%) 
  • Data volume (30%) 
  • Data quality issues (30%) 
  • Data quality issues (41%) 
  • Poor data literacy among employees (35%) 
  • High costs (32%) 
  • Data volume (32%) 



Resiliency is a critical element to address unforeseen market changes in Benelux, yet the reality of implementation – or “being a resilient company” – dips dramatically, creating the Resiliency Gap. However, overcoming this gap is within reach for Benelux executives who believe greater resiliency is attainable and will improve sustainability and talent acquisition and hiring.  

SAS developed the Resiliency Index to learn how executives perceive their company’s resiliency and the factors causing the resiliency gap. Look to the actions of executives that score high on the resiliency index to understand how they navigate change.  

In Benelux, these executives value resiliency because it ensures that business performance is restored rapidly, therefore increasing the chances of successfully addressing ongoing challenges. Additionally, they rely on data and analytics for decision making.   

Benelux executives know increasing resiliency at their organizations is necessary to remain competitive, and it is crucial to encourage it at all levels, which is why most executives facing the resiliency gap (85%) are seeking out help. To that end, SAS tested five business principles, which are all deemed important by Benelux executives. We call these principles the Resiliency Rules, and they include speed and agility, innovation, equity and responsibility, data culture and literacy, and curiosity. Our survey shows that approximately 60% of executives do not believe they have successfully implemented the rules, hence it is imperative to prioritize investment. When asked about challenges faced in implementing the five Resiliency Rules, executives noted issues ranging from data quality and cybersecurity risks to workforce performance. 

In summary, Benelux executives are confident about closing the Resiliency Gap. Most business leaders (83%) are confident about achieving company resiliency and presumably closing the gap with the right counsel. 86% of Benelux business leaders admit their company needs guidance to implement an effective resiliency strategy. 

Consistent with global findings, business leaders in Benelux admit their company needs guidance to implement an effective resiliency strategy. SAS is answering the call for guidance by taking the methodology used in this report to offer the Resiliency Index Tool, an assessment tool to help companies understand their resiliency and address the gap.

Take the resiliency assessment and read our global resiliency report



About Author

Claire Hinnen has over 15 years experience in various marketing communication roles within SAS. This ranges from external communications and PR, campaign management, content marketing, event organization, online marketing, social media and branding.

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