It is commonly the case that Business Continuity is on the agenda due to external regulatory or audit requirements and this provides sufficient impetus for a Business Continuity Implementation. With or without these external pressures, a business case for the cost of implementing and maintaining business continuity will need to be created.
Below are some benefits and justifications that can be examined when establishing a business case for implementing and maintaining a business continuity program:
- The cost of not doing anything. What is your organisation’s level of exposure to business interruption risks? These may include Hardware Failure, Human Error, Natural Disaster etc. Calculate the true cost of downtime should your business suffer an interruption and what the likely timeframe is for recovery in your present situation. Eg. Unproductive staff costs, loss of revenue, loss of critical data and equipment, damage to the organisation’s reputation and the opportunity for your competition to take market share.
- General organisational resilience due to being risk aware and implementing mitigating actions, leading to reduced downtime.
- The Business Impact Assessment (BIA) phase of a business continuity program can help to find areas of process inefficiency that can be addressed.
- Cost savings that may be possible through server rationalization using virtualization technology.
- Reduced customer churn if they are subject to less service interruptions.
- Enhanced market position. It can give you an edge over your competition if you can provide assurances of continuity and service.
- Audit or regulatory compliance. Less exposure to compliance problems.
- Avoidance of penalties or fines for non-compliance with deadlines eg. Payroll within a certain timeframe according to an award or providing services to your customers within the terms of a Service Level Agreement.
It is also critical when developing a business case for implementing and maintaining a business continuity program to include the up-front costs of implementation eg. Consulting, internal staff time, establishment of IT systems as well as recurring costs such as leasing of recovery seats, software licenses and internal staff time for ongoing maintenance of the plans and conducting testing.