Three Reasons You Need Business Continuity as a Service

In a recent AT&T Business Continuity Study, 87 percent of 500 IT executives surveyed said their business had a business continuity plan, yet only 38 percent indicated that business continuity (BC) was a priority.

While 87 percent is nothing to sneeze at, business continuity is too important not to be at the top of a business’s list of priorities, especially considering that the total average cost of a single unplanned data center outage is estimated to be $505,502, including detection, recovery, ex-post activities, equipment, IT productivity, end-user productivity, third parties, lost revenue and business disruption.

Unfortunately, BC plans are subject to “slow decay with the passage of time” due to inappropriate delegation of planning activities, the lack of senior-level management involvement and ultimately “the organization’s overall casual attitude toward the BCP.”

The solution to maintaining the momentum of BC planning, we've found, is to bring in a third party: a business continuity as a service (BCaaS) provider. The benefits of obtaining professional assistance with your BC planning are countless, but here are our top three reasons BCaaS is vital to your BC planning efforts.

You Adhere to Business Continuity Standards

For many organizations, business continuity planning is not a matter of if but when due to strict federal regulations for industries such as financial services and healthcare. Not having and following a documented business continuity plan can lead to costly regulatory fines.

Having a professional service helps these organizations meet business continuity management (BCM) standards such as the internationally recognized ISO 22301 standard.

But even if your organization is not required by law to implement certain business continuity measures, developing a plan that complies with an established BCM standard is a sign of commitment to your stakeholders.

You Preserve Resources for Daily Operations

Ideally, it should take three to six months to produce a business continuity plan. However, if you’re shorthanded and need your critical resources for maintaining your daily operations (ironically, this is also why a business continuity plan is so important), outsourcing your BC planning allows you to establish your plan in a timely manner without having to sacrifice day-to-day productivity.

With the data you provide, BCaaS vendors can do the nitty-gritty work of evaluating your business’s needs and drawing up your BC plan.

You Benefit from Professional Expertise

The best way to become an expert on something is to immerse yourself in it, and for the reasons cited above, you might not have the time to adequately research and prepare a thorough BC plan.

A BCaaS vendor that has worked with companies of all sizes and industries will have the benefit of being intimately familiar with BCM standards and can determine what the scope of your business’s plan should be based on your industry and your number of employees, departments and locations.

In addition, a professional can help you meet audit requirements, which is important because “only 38 percent of executives understand the effect of regulatory issues on business continuity management efforts or know whether the organization is fully compliant with audit requirements.”

Keeping your business operational — no matter what — should be a priority for any organization. Implementing a thorough BC plan in a timely manner can be challenging, but with the help of BCaaS, it doesn't have to be impossible.

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