The need for business continuity is not going away

Posted by Martin Holzke on 20th June 2019

It amazes me that despite an ongoing series of smaller and larger outages, disruptions and disaster well reported in the media, individuals and organisations alike widely continue to see business continuity as a nice-to-have. Are we really so readily willing to give in and accept the damage resulting from these incidents? Do we really think that complaining for a moment and then continuing our business-as-usual is good enough?

Instead we could heavily improve our quality of live and use resources much better. Admittedly we had less to moan about ?

Yet aside from such somewhat just nice-to-have benefit, there is an increasing level of regulations and requirements to satisfy that all have one intention: to protect others from our ill-doing.

Take information security and data protection: Both revolve around the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information we are entrusted with. Business continuity is becoming hugely important to be able to recover from major incidents. There is long since no excuse anymore for being unable to get back data of our customers, suppliers, staff etc. after losing or corrupting them be at my accident, natural disaster, cyber-attack or else… While the best possible preparedness will never fully protect us, it will make us significantly less vulnerable left alone demonstrate due diligence.

Take quality and service management: Our customers will always expect timely delivery at prime quality, regardless whether this is expressed in formal contracts, service level agreements etc. or not. Across ISO management system standards for example we are ask as organisations to understand needs and expectations of interested parties and of course satisfy these as appropriate. While under normal circumstances, many organisations are well placed to achieve this, things look very different during and after major incidents. This is where business continuity comes into play. As colleague once put it, business continuity is preparing for something that hopefully will never happen, i.e. we need to prepare and practise in “peaceful” times to be able to survive when worst come to worst. There are various organisations no longer in existence because they failed to do so. The statistics are striking.

Interestingly most organisations already have some business continuity features in place without appreciating them as this. Examples would be multiple sites or cloud storage but just as well training and induction programs that give us vital skills to deal with all kinds of situations, positive as negative. It’s hence often less daunting and demanding to implement business continuity than widely thought left alone you can chose the pace. The full interruption test is never the starting point but rather way down the road once you have step-by-step organised towards that and gained confidence in your abilities.

Are you gonna make a start? Talk to us if we can help.