“What’s the ROI on that?” is one of the most popular questions management asks when evaluating business programs and projects. When it comes to business continuity programs, the answer is often “Well, there’s not really any ROI unless you experience a disaster. It’s like insurance.”
Because of this perceived lack of immediate value, budgets often get diverted away from business continuity to other projects that produce more tangible results. In fact, 49 percent of businesses don’t even have a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan, leaving their entire company at risk because of the lack of an obvious ROI.
But what you may not realize is that business continuity programs do produce ROI — and you don’t even have to experience a disaster to reap the benefits.
Identifying new opportunities begins with the business impact analysis (BIA), when you assess and prioritize critical business processes, employee roles and technology. As you take a closer look at the inner workings of your business, you’re likely to discover new opportunities for cost savings or even revenue generation. If you work with a consultant who can provide an objective BC/DR assessment, we can almost guarantee you’ll find areas for improvement within your company.
Here are just a few ways you could realize ROI from your business continuity program.
Phase out Outdated Processes
Do you have manual processes that can be automated? In an IDC Technology Spotlight, 33 percent of respondents said their workflows involve manually extracting content from paper documents. By automating outdated processes like these, you can have employees spend that time focusing on other activities that advance the business.
Shorten Approval and Revenue Cycles
Are there too many unnecessary people involved in approval processes, thus slowing down project and revenue cycles? During the BIA process, you’re forced to identify critical processes, as well as the people and resources that perform those processes. What many businesses realize during the BIA is that certain processes have unnecessary touchpoints. Simplifying these processes will make business continuity more efficient and cost-effective. On a day-to-day basis, you also have the potential to identify ways to shorten your approval times and revenue cycles.
Decrease Vendor Investments
How many vendors do you work with? In an , 42 percent of respondents said they rely extensively on third-party providers. Of those who use third parties, 90 percent said they used technology vendors. In some cases, you can consolidate the products and services you receive and cut down on the number of vendors you work with. By bundling products, you can reduce the money spent and increase the value provided from those services. You would also decrease organizational risk, as the more vendors you work with, the more you open yourself up to security issues such as third-party data breaches.
As you can see, having a BC/DR plan in place isn’t just about being prepared for a disaster. An effective plan can help you make your processes more efficient, improve data security and save you money.
For more insight into the ROI of business continuity, check out the resources for the Business Continuity Institute’s Business Continuity Awareness Week 2016.