Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Bah, humbug! (a Christmas tale)

Once upon a time there was a Chief Executive called Ebenezer. He disliked spending money at the best of times. When it came to business continuity, he could only see the cost and no payback, so he was unwilling to spend anything on it.

One Christmas he was visited by three very strange characters.

The ghost of business continuity past told him that business continuity used to be called disaster recovery and was mainly about computers and huge catastrophic incidents. “We don’t have disasters here” he’d always thought, “it couldn’t happen to us”.

The ghost of business continuity present showed him that nowadays business continuity management encompasses all key business activities, not just the IT that supports them; that it’s not just about disasters and crises; that it includes reviewing operational processes, understanding all of the organisation’s key dependencies, monitoring and managing the supply chain, and improving procedures and practices to increase resilience and reduce errors and downtime. It also showed him that a number of recent disruptive events, of which there have been plenty, had affected an awful lot of businesses who thought it couldn’t happen to them.

Then the ghost of business continuity future explained that the latest buzzword is resilience, of which business continuity management is a major component; that increased awareness by customers, regulators, investors and other stakeholders means that business continuity is a board-level issue for many organisations; that the successful ones will be those that embed business continuity management into normal business processes, as just one of a raft of resilience measures; and that it can no longer be thought of as merely an unnecessary expense and an optional extra.

Ebenezer found this to be a real eye-opener and resolved to give the subject more consideration in future.

Merry Christmas!