Understanding the full benefits of a business continuity management programme is key to obtaining board-level support, appropriate funding and to ‘selling’ the concept to stakeholders.
The obvious benefits of a business continuity management programme, such as enabling mission critical activities to recover from an incident, can be reasonably straight forward to determine and explain. However, some equally important benefits require more thorough research.
In order to assist with this difficult task, Automata Global Business Continuity Services has produced a list of the often overlooked benefits of a BCM programme. During its two-day monthly Business Continuity Masterclass, course leaders use this list as a guide to assist delegates understand the benefits of the BCM process as they work through a specially designed case study. The key items from this list are reproduced below:
The intrinsic benefits of a business continuity management include:
• Structural problems within an organisation may be understood and rectified. These include:
- Badly organised workflows
- Processes shifting away from their original purpose within the organisational model.
• A clearer understanding of processes within an organisation can be obtained by undertaking a business impact analysis within a BCM programme. This enhanced understanding can assist process optimisation programmes resulting in expenditure reductions. These reductions can assist in justifying a business continuity management programme.
• The after-effects of interruptions to normal work flows can result in severe backlogs that can build up whilst management attention is engaged in dealing with an abnormal situation. The resultant unexpected phenomenon, the ‘Backlog Trap’ will be addressed by a business continuity management programme.
• The likelihood of recovery from an incident is directly related to the simplicity of processes. A business continuity management programme will assist in simplifying processes and therefore ensure they are easier to recover in the event of a crisis.
• In many organisations rational structures may be overlooked when growth becomes the most important driver. A business continuity management programme can assist in rectifying this problem by mapping out the organisational structure. This assists in highlighting where bureaucratic and inefficient structures have developed.
• During major incidents, all levels of an organisation’s hierarchy may be affected. A successful business continuity management programme should create fast and effective communications systems that can be used for every day incident management.
• In a business continuity management programme compliant with PAS 56 ‘levels of business continuity’ (minimum service levels) for mission critical activities will be determined throughout an organisation. This will allow service levels to be monitored across the organisation and if they drop below their minimum, recovery interventions can be made.
• By understanding the recovery time objective for mission critical activities and their recovery point objectives the importance of information and communications (ICT) technology applications can be determined across an organisation. This understanding will assist organisations to cost effectively focus their ICT budgets for maximum resilience. Without using such business continuity related methods ICT expenditures could be focused in the wrong direction, potentially misdirecting large sums of expenditure.
• By understanding the vital records, in all forms, that support the mission critical activities of an organisation, storage needs can be identified. The cost of storage can be a major drain on organisational budgets and a good business continuity management programme will assist in setting priorities.
• Disciplines involved in protecting organisations such as physical security, logical security, risk management, insurance etc can be given improved focus if they are conducted in conjunction with a business continuity management programme emphasising mission critical activities.
A detailed paper entitled ‘Selling a BCM programme’ is available as a free download from Automata’s website: http://www.automataservices.com/news.htm Registration is necessary before downloading.
•Date: 9th June 2005 •Region UK /World •Type:
Article •Topic: Selling to the board
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