In this final blog in the current series on the Business Continuity Institute’s Good Practice Guide, we will explore the professional technical practices through the second lens of bridging the identified gaps.
This is the logical culmination of the sequence of actions that began with the executive team identifying what parts of the business are the most important and then how quickly each needs to be restored. Having understood each critical area at a very granular level, the team is now able to work on how to bridge the gaps between how quickly the current setup can recover and what the policy mandates.This process is essentially concerned with striking the right balance between speed and cost. Some examples will make the issues clear.
Consider a medical aid’s call centre, which the executive management team decides should not be down for more than 15 minutes. However, upon investigation, say that this would require an annual expenditure of R3 million, an expense that would devastate the company’s profit-and-loss account. Taking this into consideration, the decision might be to accept a slightly longer downtime of one hour, which has an acceptable price tag of R800 000. In such an instance, management would put in place an alternative solution for the “missing” 45 minutes, perhaps paying a competitor call centre to take messages.
ContinuitySA believes that the Analysis, Design, Implementation and Validation phases of the business continuity management life cycle—those areas covered by the professional technical practices—benefit from the assistance of external consultants. These are decisions that have to be made using experience and judgement, and while it’s theoretically possible for a suitably qualified internal resource to perform them, in practice objective, professional input is invaluable.
Analysis, Design, Implementation and Validation are covered on pages 47-105 of the Good Practice Guidelines. For more information, visit the BCI website to download the Good Practice Guidelines or contact us for BCM advisory.