Four Decades of Business Continuity – Have we learned anything?

How important is history when charting the course for the future?  In this video, John Jackson talks about the past few decades, and how they have affected our industry today.  As David Nolan specifically looks back on the 1990s and 2000s, we can see how far technology has come.  When thinking about the way things are now, ask yourself- would I have seen this coming?   Would I have been able to embrace the idea of today’s technologies back then?  Am I able to embrace the technologies of tomorrow right now?  What are the implications for Business Continuity?


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What mistakes can derail your Business Continuity Program?

There is a long list of mistakes that companies make in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Let’s start with four mistakes that might not be as obvious, but can be equally disabling. Is your company making these mistakes? It may be costing you a great deal in terms of unmet expectations, unnecessary effort, or misguided investment.

1) Investing in a Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity solution BEFORE defining your business requirements. We see companies make multi-million-dollar decisions to select vendor or internal solutions and implement recovery technology without the benefit of a clearly defined Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery strategy. The result can be over-architecting or over-building recovery solutions that do not align with business requirements.

Consider these questions:

  • How much data can you afford to lose? (Probably zero!)
  • How long can you afford to go without access to your IT systems? (It may be significantly less, or more, than you think)

Updating your Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment will ensure your recovery and technology solutions will give you the protection you need without over-spending. You may find new ways to save money while optimizing your recovery and continuity capabilities.

2) Allowing your executive team to accept risk without fully appreciating the implications. When executives decide against a comprehensive Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Program, they accept significant risk, typically without a clear understanding of whether they’ll be able to compensate for the potential loss to the organization.
Enabling good decision making requires the ability to prioritize risk and remediation activities across the myriad of agendas in play within your enterprise, then present an effective business case in terms that executives will embrace, set in the context of your multi-year strategic roadmap aligned to business objectives.

3)    Allowing your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity capabilities to become outdated. The number one cause of failure we see during a recovery is the divergence between an enterprise production environment and the recovery environment. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans fail when the business has changed and the plans and recovery capabilities have not. We strongly encourage you to test often, test adequately, and keep your plans and solutions current.

4)    Viewing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery as point-in-time projects rather than an ongoing program. From an executive perspective, it is an unpleasant reality that Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity capabilities require an ongoing program, not occasional quick-fix projects. Businesses are continually changing either incrementally over time or through strategic events such as mergers or acquisitions. By managing Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery as an ongoing program, your company can keep up with the incremental changes, streamline investments, and take the major changes in stride.

In summary, make sure you have a properly executed Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery program. Know that as your program becomes well aligned with your business requirements, provides adequate protection appropriate to your budget constraints, and is quickly evolving into a well-managed set of mature business processes, you will be well prepared should a business-impacting event occur.

If you would like to learn how Fusion Risk Management helps organizations to implement and maintain well-managed programs, you can contact Fusion to discuss these or other related topics with you further.  If you have other mistakes in mind, feel free to add to this list! Leave comments here on the blog, or join the conversation on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook!

Are you approaching Business Continuity with an open mind?

Our President and CEO, David Nolan, along with John Jackson, co-founder and winner of BCI’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award recently spoke at DRJ’s Fall World 2012.  The presentation not only shared insights about business continuity and risk management, but also knowledge that comes from over 55 years of combined experience in the industry.  If you missed it, don’t worry! Over the next few weeks, we will be posting video segments right here on our blog.  This first video introduces the presentation and also our video series.  Take a look as David Nolan encourages you to think about the big picture.  Are you setting yourself up for success?


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