CEO’s Crystal Ball: Business Continuity Trends for 2019

2019 promises to be an exciting year in business continuity and IT/disaster recovery. Below is my take on the new developments we are likely to see in management, budgeting, threats, software, and other key areas.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. What will 2019 bring for the world of BCM and IT/DR?

To answer this question, I drew on my 25-plus years of experience in the field, the expertise of my fellow MHA and BCMMETRICS consultants, and my CEO’s crystal ball.

 

Here’s what I see happening in nine key areas of business continuity trends for 2019:

DEMAND

  • Demand for business continuity planning across all industries will increase as the realization hits that we are all one incident away from being out of business.

MANAGEMENT

  • Management will begin to recognize its need for comprehensive education in the basics of business continuity to better understand why it’s important (and good for business) and why it requires an investment of time, money, and resources.
  • In more sophisticated companies, management will begin looking to the BCM office to demonstrate and calculate the value of investment (VOI) of BCM in their organizations to determine if time, money, and resources are being spent in an optimal manner.

PRACTITIONERS

  • BCM practitioners will find plenty of opportunities to apply their book knowledge of BCM to real world demands and incidents.
  • The changing workforce will require practitioners to apply BCM concepts and best practices in new and innovative ways that today’s generation of workers can use seamlessly in an incident.
  • More and more companies will turn to outside coaching services to help their BCM practitioners maximize VOI in their programs.

BUDGETING

  • The growing realization that we are susceptible to all kinds of threats will lead to an increase in budgeting for business continuity across all company sizes and types.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

  • Technology will be easier to recover, but we will still need knowledgeable, dedicated people to recover our critical business process and operations.
  • Companies will continue to look to diversity of operations to build in business continuity in their day-to-day operations.

IT/DISASTER RECOVERY

  • We will see the continued expansion and reliance on cloud-based services for technology (Software as a Service/SaaS).
  • The shift by companies from managing their own data centers to using third-party providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and others will continue.
  • IT/DR will continue to get easier and cheaper for all sizes of companies as they use third-party cloud providers for data centers and data backup.
  • Technology of all kinds will make it easier for companies to recover critical systems and applications in lightning.
  • Artificial intelligence will continue to make its way into IT/DR.

CRITICAL SUPPLIERS

  • Critical suppliers will increasingly come under the microscope in terms of their business continuity planning.
  • The failures of critical suppliers will occur and point to the need for a centralized critical supplier clearinghouse designed to score and rank supplier BCM capabilities.

THREATS

  • Natural, human, and technological threats will continue to expand and increase in severity.
  • Global connectivity will exponentially increase the impacts of threats occurring domestically and across the globe.
  • Sometime in the next 12 months, your organization will be impacted by a low-probability, high-impact event.

CONTINUITY SOFTWARE

  • Lower cost business continuity technology software stacks will begin to replace the larger, costlier tools currently on the market. In other words, you can subscribe to one or more tools based on what you need to do. Do you have BIAs to conduct, need to write recovery plans, or store those plans? You’ll be able to pick your tool based on your needs.
  • Companies will have the opportunity to bundle lower cost tools to perform the pieces and parts (Compliance, BIA, Recovery Plans, Site Mapping) of the BCM program that are needed to meet company requirements. Ask yourself, do you really need a $25-50K tool when a $10-15K tool will do the job?
  • Consulting firms will provide services to outsource day-to-day management and administration of their continuity tools and ensure they are always up to date and current.

WRAPPING THINGS UP

Overall, 2019 is going to be a year when technology will become more important than ever in business continuity and IT/DR.  Only one thing will top it: the continuing need for skillful dedicated BCM practitioners to provide the judgment and prudence needed to make it all work.

FURTHER READING

For more information on this and other hot topics in business continuity and disaster recovery, check out these recent posts from BCMMETRICS and MHA Consulting:

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.


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