Business continuity often inspires a feeling of ‘disaster averted’. In other words, the perception is that spending money on business continuity is really an insurance policy, and as such brings no positive benefit, but helps to avoid negative outcomes.
It’s true that this is an essential role. As its name suggests, the avoidance of business discontinuity or interruption is inherent in the pursuit of business continuity. However, business continuity can and should have a net positive effect as well.
Ray Kroc, the brain behind McDonald’s, had a saying: “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot”.
Business continuity that simply holds discontinuity at bay is akin to ripeness. Yet it has the potential to contribute positive growth.
Gains in process efficiency thanks to business continuity automatically improve the bottom line. Expenses are reduced in insurance premiums and credit interest rates as insurers and banks recognise that an enterprise with better continuity is an enterprise with less risk.
One way or another, C-level officers (CIO, CFO, COO and so on) can all see a positive effect in their areas.
Similarly, demonstrable business continuity management may be the route into customer accounts where partners are only admitted to the inner chamber upon proof of good BCM.
Banks, financial organisations and government agencies all come under increasing pressure to ensure their own business continuity and therefore that of their suppliers too.
That means that an enterprise that embraces BCM not only has a better chance of retaining existing customers, but also of winning new ones – and achieving the ‘greenness’ of Ray Kroc.