Maximizing the Value of your Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness Plan
The last several blog posts have demonstrated the internal value of preparing and sustaining a disaster preparedness plan for your business or organization. Preparedness and resilience are vital components in any business plan, no matter the size of the organization. But have you considered the external value of selling your contingency plans to other organizations? Savvy emergency managers recognize the added value of marketing a well-articulated plan, easy-to implement plan to other executives.
There is a well-established industry behind outsourcing business continuity needs and it’s important to note potential competition. The major players in the business recovery field are IBM and SunGard. Hewlett-Packard tends to focus more on the professional design, integration and consulting services around disaster recovery. However with a growing number of companies, both large and small, outsourcing their business continuity and recovery efforts, this market is steadily growing.
Data storage, mobile phone units, remote workstations and the like are often outsourced, simply because it makes more sense than purchasing extra equipment or space that may never be used. In the days after September 11th, disaster recovery vendors restored systems and provided temporary office space, complete with telephones and Internet access for dozens of displaced companies.
While your organization may not be inclined to make a major paradigm shift into disaster recovery implementation or consulting, it is prudent to recognize that both your peers and competitors would be willing to pay significantly for a proven recovery plan. As we have been discussing, designing and implementing preparedness plans for any business poses some significant challenges. Certain organizations may not have the resources, or may not be willing to devote the resources, to developing such a plan. This is where the opportunity lies.
By developing a successful business continuity plan, your organization is in the unique position to replicate and scale that plan for other businesses. Address the target company’s need for disaster recovery through analysis and documentation of their potential financial losses. Work with their legal and financial departments to document the total losses per day that the company could potentially face if a quick and effective recovery was not immediately implemented.
By thoroughly reviewing your business continuance and disaster recovery plans, you can identify the gaps in preparedness that may prevent a successful recovery and convey these vulnerabilities to others. Remember: disaster recovery and business continuance are nothing more than risk avoidance. Senior managers understand this point clearly when significant risk is clearly demonstrated. Make sure you illustrate the great risk of having an incomplete disaster recovery plan just as you did when pitching the original plan to your own executives.