Natural disasters, the threat of terrorism and new governance expectations, together with globally interdependent supply chains, are ushering in the need for complex, business driven continuity solutions – and with that, stakeholder expectations are on the rise. Since 9/11, nearly all regulatory requirements were rewritten or expanded to address organization-wide continuity – not just technology disaster recovery.
With these increased stakeholder expectations, executive managers and business continuity professionals are faced with a number of difficult challenges:
- How to prioritize the recovery of critical business functions and IT assets given the lack of time and resources to recover the majority of the business
- How to structure a business continuity program without significantly adding headcount, while at the same time, keeping from distracting “line” employees from their primary duties
- How to address the risks brought on by the realization that all organizations face employee single points of failure, and the assumption that personnel will be available in the event of a crisis is inaccurate
- How to train response and recovery personnel, as well as employees in general, regarding their role following a disaster or business interruption
- How to streamline disparate risk management processes with the end goal of managing business availability risk – and in many cases, doing so under a newly defined enterprise-wide risk management program
- How to provide management with a sense of assurance that business continuity processes will work as designed – meaning through objective testing or exercise regimens
- How to protect business records and data, while at the same time doing so in a efficient and effective manner, and in a way that does not introduce legal risk
Customers, audit committees and investors are demanding answers to each of these challenges given the realization that all organizations are faced with numerous threats – one of which being financial expectations.
Business continuity has become much more than a documented plan – it has emerged as key element of a robust risk management and governance program. Business continuity is an expectation and a cost of doing business, and if done correctly, a market differentiator.