Why you should consider business continuity

Business continuity management (BCM) is a process to counteract systems failure. It should encompass all systems used within the business, not just IT.

A disaster recovery plan is important in supporting your business in times of system failure. This includes providing:

  • facilities and services to enable the business to continue to function
  • critical IT applications and infrastructure to support the recovery of critical processes

Once a BCM plan has been implemented, it is the start of an ongoing commitment. Organisations constantly evolve and recovery strategies must evolve with them. For example:

  • Business processes change, people join, transfer and leave organisations on a regular basis. Plans should be updated to reflect changes in recovery teams.
  • New IT systems are introduced to support business activities. As these may be essential to your business, before you implement them you should consider your ability to recover them following a systems failure.

There are real business benefits to be gained from the implementation of BCM within any organisation. These include:

  • Regulatory requirements – in some industries a recovery capability is becoming a mandatory requirement. For example, regulators stipulate that financial organisations must have sufficient continuity and security controls to meet the business requirements. Failure to demonstrate tested recovery facilities could result in heavy fines.
  • Positive marketing – a business that can demonstrate effective BCM capabilities will provide high service levels to clients and customers, and win business.
  • Competitive advantage – a sound BCM plan can prove a good incentive for customers to continue a business relationship, and becomes part of the competitive advantage used to win or retain customers.
  • Insurance – effective BCM can help organisations demonstrate to underwriters or insurers that they are proactively managing their business risks.
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