The Benefits of a Business Continuity Program

The Benefits of a Business Continuity Program

We’ve mentioned multiple times that implementing a BCM program can be challenging and at times painful. No one likes to point out their business’s vulnerabilities. Many times the investment of time and dollars to do just that can feel like a burden. We’ve seen our clients struggle with this during the implementation and maintenance of their programs.

Many times the ongoing investment can be even more difficult. It helps to identify and assess both the tangible and intangible benefits of your initial and continuing investment in the BCM program. Identifying the benefits of a business continuity program helps you define benchmarks and see the light a the end of the proverbial BCM tunnel. We’ll take a look at the more commonly known benefits of a business continuity program. Then, we’ll walk you through some benefits you might not have thought of.

Tangible or commonly known benefits

  1. Protection against possible threats and risks.
    The primary purpose of business continuity is to ensure that your organization can continue operating during an emergency or outage event.
  2. Audit remediation.
    Internal or external audits often require some actions or planning to meet regulatory requirements or maintain certifications.
  3. Cost prevention.
    This involves the avoidance of fines or penalties associated with laws, regulations or contractual obligations.
  4. Brand or reputation protection.
    An emergency event can quickly lead to damage to your company’s brand or reputation, leading to loss of revenue, investors, or customers.

Intangible or hidden benefits

  1. A better understanding of business processes.
    A detailed documentation or review of business processes is often required during the implementation of a business continuity program. This often brings to light processes or activities that, while important, are relatively unknown or misunderstood.

  2. A better understanding of the integration and dependencies between processes and technologies.
    The performance of a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and the development of recovery plans should highlight the integration between different technologies and processes. These dependencies are sometimes forgotten after implementation of technologies or updates to processes, or criticality is not understood. In today’s environment, data flows behind the scenes through automated processes; even the IT team may not know the timing of the process or the source of the data.
  3. Identification of potential process efficiencies.
    There are often cases where, after performing the analysis, a previously unknown or misunderstood process (see #1 above) can be integrated with another process.
  4. This may decrease some operating costs or increase capacity, deferring costs.
  5. Consolidation of technology.
    The recovery strategy you have defined may identify the opportunity to consolidate technology. This can lead to increased efficiency and decreased or deferred operating costs.
  6. Improvement in non-BC project implementation.

    As both technology and functional teams gain an understanding of other supporting areas, cross-functional knowledge increases. When you have a good grasp of the reasons for performing certain tasks and the criticality of those tasks, then you have a better understanding of your business. The same goes for the need for a particular technology. Centralizing this information improves communication and understanding. As a result, you’re led to improved solutions, driving faster implementation of changes and decreasing errors for all projects.

Remember that in spite of these tangible and intangible benefits, in most cases you will not be able to demonstrate to management an actual dollar-for-dollar return on their investment in your BCM program unless you experience multiple or major outage events. If you’ve done your job properly, this won’t happen as often.

This is the paradox of business continuity. Consequently, it’s important to highlight the benefits of your BCM program (all of them). Your BCM program has benefits that can help improve efficiency and potentially decrease some costs when implemented correctly, but like car or health insurance, the goal is to ensure that your company is protected from significant harm.

Want to learn more about quantifying the benefits of a BCM Program? MHA Consulting will be conducting a workshop on BCM Return on Investment at DRJ Fall World. Read more about the event.

What to learn more about the benefits of a business continuity program, or get management on board with the first step for any BCM Program? Read our article on Convincing Management to Do a BIA.

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.

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