Bankable Business Continuity

What does business continuity suffer from most? According to a number of Business Continuity Managers, it’s not a lack of methodology or solutions – it’s a lack of senior management attention. Because business continuity is often seen as a cost in terms of both time and money, it may be assigned a correspondingly lower priority by company and board directors, especially if so far the organization has not suffered any notable business discontinuity. For that reason, it’s always of interest to see cases where BC managers have been able to present business continuity as an opportunity to either generate profits or cut costs, including one case in particular from the world of finance.

The case in question concerns State Street, “a leading financial services provider serving some of the world’s most sophisticated institutions”. 2010 figures for this venerable (founded in 1792) American organisation include almost $9 billion in revenues and over two trillion dollars in assets under management for their clients. The company has annual continuity compliance reports to make in any case, in connection with different internal or external audits. However, it also has a business continuity value proposition: “[BC] information can be used for projects other than BCP and reduce associated costs of gathering and tracking redundant data”.

In particular, the information gathered for business continuity can be used for “mergers and acquisition, asset management, risk management, operations, risk management, facilities, corporate security, information security, etc.” It is also seen as an effective tool for both corporate and regulatory audits. Positioning business continuity at the centre of these different operations makes it a necessary and valuable part of them. BC is no longer a cost in this context, it’s a cost cutter and cost savings as every business manager knows have a direct positive impact on the company’s bottom line. Perhaps repositioning business continuity in a similar way in other companies would reap similar benefits.