By Sungard AS
We do a business impact analysis. We identify risks. We put in place a business continuity management program. Presto chango, we achieve comprehensive business resiliency.
To put it baldly, "Yeah. Right."
That may have been true in the days when the risks we contended with were statistically predictable, quantifiable, and insurable. Things like fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and power failures. But today, the risk landscape is highly ambiguous and amorphous. How do you even begin to quantify:
Business continuity management historically has focused on protection: protect your people, protect your assets, protect your information, protect your revenue. Essentially, dig in and prepare for a siege.
But in today's world, protecting what you have isn't going to get you where you need to be. In every area of business, companies are being forced to proactively meet customer and business demands in new and innovative ways. In marketing, that has involved a shift from huge mass-market campaigns to micro-personalized outreach. In software development, it often requires leaving behind sequential waterfall design methodologies and embracing incremental agile approaches. What about for business continuity management?
For IT and business continuity management, transformation in the 21st century means stepping outside of the traditional risk-averse mindset to take on a deeply proactive approach that extends across the entire business. Such an approach recognizes that business resiliency – the ultimate goal – means much more than keeping the lights on or even keeping the data flowing.
To the new CIO in this changing and somewhat threatening world, resiliency seeks the enhancement and protection of human resources, current revenue streams, and future revenue growth potential by allowing business and operational decisions to be informed by advanced risk intelligence and proactive business continuity awareness.
The new business continuity management model
Let me be clear here. The demand for transformation does not mean that we throw out everything we have learned about business continuity management in previous decades. Not at all. The principles we know and practice are tested, tried, and proven. They simply do not go far enough for today's needs.
Likewise, transformation does not mean firing your business continuity management team and hiring a new one. Far from it. If you are in business continuity management today, you are part of the solution – not part of the problem. In fact, you are the leaders of the new solution, uniquely qualified by your years of experience and the depth of your knowledge.
Here's what does need to change to bring about a new business continuity management model:
The past decade has seen more changes to business and technology than can possibly be quantified. Everything has been flipped upside down from what we knew before. The only way to keep business continuity management aligned with this new topsy-turvy world is to turn it on its head as well!
Related Service: Find out more about business continuity management
This article was originally posted on Forbes BrandVoice.