People, Process, and Technology

Michael Herrera

In our last post we took a minute to look at how the cost of planning (investment) and the cost of failure (loss) would impact your company. Now lets explore the impact of people, processes, and technology of your company. We will also tie back how people, process, and technology will impact the top/bottom line. The impact, though not immediately apparent, is significant and worth investigating.

People: Spending time and resources to plan for emergency responses, from an organizational perspective, is an excellent investment for many reasons. When employees understand that the company has contingency plans in place, they tend to feel the company is organized, positioned for success, and concerned for their safety. Companies that tend to run in a perpetual ad hoc manner are often more at risk of losing key employees.

Having a well thought out and well rehearsed BC/DR plan will reduce the stress on people during an emergency. In turn people will be able to function and return to their jobs more quickly. Thus, the very act of planning how to take care of the people in your organization during an emergency can quickly impact the company’s ability to return to normal operations. BC/DR planning directly impacts the top and bottom line and the cost of planning will quickly offset the cost of an unmanaged event.

Process: BC/DR planning can provided an opportunity for a company to evaluate and improve its business processes. As your project team evaluates business processes, as it relates to BC/DR, it might discover new ways to streamline operations. When you are looking at everything from the ground up, which is what happens when you are dealing with a disaster, you discover that you don’t need all the bells and whistles. This can sometimes translate into streamlined processes that can then be incorporated in to every day operations.

Documenting critical business processes can truly mean the difference between life and death for the company. If you are unable to resume some sort of operations in a reasonable time frame, your company is not likely to survive. The cost may be the inability to exist. This is not only unfortunate for the corporate shareholders but it impacts the lives of all the company employees and their families and takes a toll on the community as well. The ripple effect of your company closing is a lot bigger than you may have imagined at first, and should not be quickly discounted.

Technology: Scrambling to deal with technology issues once a disaster has hit is guaranteed to cost your firm more than if you have a solid plan in place beforehand. By planning ahead, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate the details of a contingency contract. Also, if the disaster impacts other companies; it might create a competitive situation that drives the price for technology components up.

Being able to calmly negotiate and procure commitments for any emergency services beforehand almost always generates lower costs when those contracts are activated by an emergency. Having prearranged services can generate lower costs and a higher ROI on your BC/DR planning process.

By considering the information discussed in the past two posts, the time used in planning and the cost of planning will certainly be far less than facing a disaster empty-handed.

About
Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.