Minimising the impact of recession on how well you recover

About the only certainty left is in the way they increase risks to an organisation in terms of business continuity. Risks that you have to manage in a recession-free environment, that range from IT failures to natural disasters, will still be present if recession arrives. It’s the new risks that you’ll also need to be aware of, and for which you’ll need to plan. To complicate matters, some are less obvious because they affect your organisation indirectly via their impact on partners and suppliers.

Even the strongest economies can start to feel the pinch when other countries and continents battle against their own recessions and reduce their spending and their purchases abroad. As the effect of recession spreads, business continuity can be impacted by the failure of a crucial supplier or of a provider of outsourced IT operations, among other things. The knock-on effect for your organisation is then compounded by any difficulties you already face because of a difficult economy. Your own customers may take fright at any news of such problems, even if they are not of your own making. And trying to forestall such eventualities by new business continuity initiatives may be hampered by internal restrictions on budgets and spending.

What are the possibilities for dealing with these additional problems? The same business impact analysis that you do when times are good should work for you when they’re bad, by identifying the risk of third party failure. A sound BC plan that you can discuss with confidence with customers will help to maintain confidence and even bring you competitive advantage as other players in your industry falter. And finally, the same tactics that other managers use to get funding for their projects can be applicable for you as well: divide your business continuity project into sub-projects to avoid bumping up against budget limitations for any one subproject.