The Value in Business Continuity Planning – Beyond Preparedness
The goal of every Business Continuity Management program ought to be preparedness: creation of a state of readiness in which goals, objectives, participants, roles and responsibilities are known, and practiced.
An increased level of preparedness which Business Continuity planning can create is only one of several benefits. Others include:
- Regulatory compliance. Even if your organization is not yet subject to requirements from external regulations, it may become so in the future. Many emerging government and international regulatory bodies have begun to mandate incorporation of Business Continuity Management into their policies and governance.
- Competitive advantage. Organizations prefer to do business with those who have a higher ability to deliver products and services on time. Having a comprehensive and tested Business Continuity program (that includes IT recovery, business continuity and supply-chain resiliency planning) assures customers of your ability to deliver on the mutually agreed SLA.
- Brand and Reputation Protection. Having comprehensive Business Continuity and Crisis Management programs helps protect your organization from the negative publicity resulting from disruptions. Being known for reliability is always good for business.
- Risk Identification. By conducting risk assessments across all physical locations and within each process or function, threats and vulnerabilities will be uncovered. These are all opportunities to made operational changes or physical enhancements that will reduce or eliminate the probability of some organizational risks.
- Operational Improvement. Often the greatest value of comprehensive Business Continuity planning process is the awareness gained from examining the details of one’s own business process, not just how to plan for a disruption. Planning can create awareness that results in opportunities to make operational improvements, especially in areas that had not previously been explored.
- Knowledge Capture. Critical day-to-day business information is often scattered among spreadsheets, original documents, or in the heads of subject matter experts. Business Continuity planning becomes a perfect avenue to collect and organize that information for future uses (including process improvements), and to prevent the information from being lost.
- Increased Robustness. The Business Continuity planning process can strengthen the organization – not just by preparing for major disruptions, but also by giving employees the skills and knowledge to react more effectively to mitigate smaller everyday problems as they arise – and before they can become major disruptions.
- Cost Savings. With an effective and practiced Business Continuity program, the cost of any future disruptions can be significantly reduced. The program may also be viewed favorably by your organization’s insurers – resulting in reduced rates, or more favorable treatment should their services ever be required.