Business continuity is a critical but non-core capability that can help African companies position themselves for global competitiveness. BCM outsourcing makes good business sense.
By Willem Olivier, GM: Africa, ContinuitySA
As I argued in my previous post, Business continuity is too important not to oursource. Insourcing’s apparent attractiveness disguises a great number of hidden disadvantages. Now I would like to look at the positive benefits of outsourcing this critical function, particularly within the context of Africa’s drive to enhance its competitiveness.
- Ensure appropriate sponsorship attention. For most African companies, business continuity is relatively new. The danger is that it is often assigned to relatively junior employees, and it lacks the executive-level sponsorship that driving mindset change requires. It may also not be seen as a key performance indicator for that individual. If it is handled by outside specialists, its effectiveness becomes the key performance indicator.
- Test, test, test. When disaster strikes, it is no time to discover the holes in a recovery plan or capabilities—that’s why continuous testing is critical. But how to run meaningful tests that are invariably seen as an irritating interruption in the busy business day, and how to embed the lessons learned into a process of continuous improvement, are all things that a specialist business continuity provider can do.
- Get the practicalities right. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing business continuity as a technical problem with technical solutions. Technology is certainly a necessary and useful tool, but there is so much more to business continuity than this. For example, when staff arrive at a recovery site, they will also need a whole kaleidoscope of practical information and aids, such as Web shortcuts, passwords and stationery, not to mention toilet facilities, food and drink.
Next time, I conclude this blog series on why it makes sense to outsource business continuity management.