The development of a business continuity plan is the beginning, not the end, of assuring the resiliency of your business. The value it brings goes beyond a mere calculation of Return on Investment. As you’ll see in this article, the business resilience process can add value to the business. Contact Discenza today for free business assessment to get your business on the right track. Let’s look at each of the 8 values a business continuity plan adds.
› Regulatory/Contractual Compliance
Your company may not be required by a regulatory agency to have a plan, but what of your partners or clients? If they are required to have a plan, it’s likely that they will begin to require it of their partners and clients. You may also find it is contractually required by partners in the European Union or in the Asia/Pacific region. Having one in place will benefit your company and make it a stronger competitor.
› Competitive Advantage
Having a plan in place that has been exercised and maintained puts your company in a better position to quickly recover from an interruption and is a fact that can be highlighted in your marketing. People want to do business with people they can rely on to meet their needs regardless of any interruptions.
› Brand and Reputation Protection
Your company’s brand is a valuable asset. Its value can be calculated. Companies like IBM, Apple, and Coca Cola do everything they can to protect their brand’s image because of its value to the company and to shareholders. Companies whose brands are damaged by an unintended interruption risk significant loss in customers as they seek more reliable companies. The development of a business continuity plan should be a part of the overall strategy to protect the brand.
› Hidden Risk Identification
One of the first steps in creating a business continuity plan is to perform a risk assessment of the company. This involves looking at each business location and each business process in that location. Each of the critical business processes are mapped and it is not unusual to uncover risks, vulnerabilities, and threats that had been previously hidden.
› Process Improvement
In mapping out the processes, it is not unusual to uncover inefficiencies or redundancies. The business now has an opportunity to make operational improvements and to standardize those processes. Lastly, there is an opportunity to share an efficient process that could be applied across the business and to reap the gains in more than one department.
› Knowledge Capture
Scattered across your business is information critical to its successful operation. It may be in documents, spreadsheets, or stored in the heads of employees, particularly those who have a long tenure with the business. When they leave, the knowledge goes with them. Creating a business continuity plan is an opportunity to capture that deep knowledge and make it available to the entire business.
› Deeper knowledge of the business
One important outcome of going through the exercises used to create a business continuity plan is gaining a deeper knowledge of how the business actually functions. No one person in the business knows what goes on in each department. In creating the plan, the processes of different departments become known across the business and opportunities for efficiency become apparent.
› Improved resiliency
A simple definition of resiliency is the ability to remain intact. A business continuity plan improves a company’s resilience by preparing it for major interruptions, and it also helps encourage a culture of resiliency in the business. Business functions become designed with resiliency in mind. Employees are trained with the knowledge and skills to keep small interruptions from growing into larger ones. The result is a business that is better able to withstand interruptions that otherwise would have shut it down.
Going Beyond ROI
When considering whether to create a business continuity plan, think beyond the ROI metric to the value that can be added to your business by the process of creating the plan. Business continuity planning will move from being a cost to an investment in the value of the business.
Knowing that you will be able to recover your business in the face of almost any man-made or natural interruption is an asset of incalculable value that gives your business a competitive edge.
About Discenza Business Continuity Solutions
Discenza Business Continuity Solutions serves businesses in the middle market with an end-to-end business continuity planning solution. I work with your executive team and others to:
- Thoroughly understand the operational risks to your business
- Identify the assets at risk for loss due to an unintended interruption
- Map the critical functions and processes of your business
- Identify the internal and external dependencies of those functions and processes
- Identify the resources required to recover the operations of your business
- Utilize all these elements to create a business continuity plan
Additional services include:
- Design and running of a table-top exercise to ensure your team can implement your plan and successfully recover your business operations
- Review and updating of an existing plan
- “After action” review sessions if you invoke you plan
David Discenza, CBCP, president of Discenza Business Continuity Solutions, has been involved in business continuity planning since 2009. He was the business continuity manager for the Risk & Information Management (RIM) group within American Express and currently works with companies in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Connecticut, and nationwide to help them formulate plans they can implement when an unexpected business interruption occurs. David is certified as a Business Continuity Planner by the Disaster Recovery Institute International.