Many BCM Practitioners Continue to Ignore BCM Standards

Michael Herrera, CEO, MHA Consulting

Many BCM practitioners talk about BCM standards, but few walk the walk. I write this blog as this subject continues to boggle my mind in today’s risk-filled environment.

I recently presented to two groups: one at a major conference in Orlando and the second at a leading continuity group in Nebraska. We spoke to a total of about 140 practitioners regarding standards and compliance. The attendees were all from mid-level to very large companies – some regulated, some not. Experience levels ran from beginner to advanced.

The first question I asked both groups was: How many of you have adopted a standard to drive your enterprise BCM program?

Want to guess what percentage had adopted a standard?  1%? 25%? 50%?  Less than 10% of the 140 had adopted a standard—a dreadfully low number.

Many used the excuse that they are not regulated (which I don’t get in this day and age). Others don’t know what standard to use, how to implement it, or what value it will bring. I believe that in some cases the BCM program attempts to stay under management radar.

In today’s world, the BCM Office and its efforts, resources, and needs typically cost companies hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars annually. Staff cost alone can be over a million dollars in salaries, not to mention all of the other moving parts.

Would you want your multi-million house built without using building codes and standards?  How about the airplanes we fly in or the medical facilities we use?

Today’s constantly emerging risks, increasing expenses, and responsibility for recovery mandate that you use a standard to build your program from to ensure that it can operate at a high level when it’s needed most.

The dark ages of our industry are long gone. To be “world class” you need to have high compliance and low residual risk.

Remember, you might not be able to change the destination of your program today, but you can change your direction. Be a BCM leader; adopt a standard.


Richard Long is one of MHA’s practice team leaders for Technology and Disaster Recovery related engagements. He has been responsible for the successful execution of MHA business continuity and disaster recovery engagements in industries such as Energy & Utilities, Government Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Risk Management, Travel & Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Education. Prior to joining MHA, Richard held Senior IT Director positions at PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM) and Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT) and has been a senior leader across all disciplines of IT. He has successfully led international and domestic disaster recovery, technology assessment, crisis management and risk mitigation engagements.

Business continuity consulting for today’s leading companies.

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