Selling Business Continuity Planning to the Modern C-Suite

When talking about the benefits of business continuity planning, industry vendors and business continuity planners typically tout one overarching benefit: When affected by a business interruption, having a plan drastically increases your odds of preserving revenue and keeping your doors open.

We’ve talked before about how to get buy-in by presenting business continuity as a tool for business growth. However, it’s also important to get support from each individual member of the C-suite by speaking their language. Keep in mind, though, that each member of today’s C-suite has different priorities than they did a decade ago. To make a compelling case for the diverse benefits of business continuity, emphasize how it helps each executive meet their specific goals and alleviates their pain points.

Below you’ll learn about the major concerns each member of the C-suite is facing, as well as how you can position business continuity in a way that resonates with them.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)



Business Continuity Benefits for CEOsWhat They’re Facing

The CEO is under enormous pressure to promote the company’s vision and outrank the competition in a marketplace fueled by rapid technology changes and compliance issues, all while achieving the desired financial results. On top of that, today’s CEO is struggling to overcome a disconnect with employees, who want the CEO to communicate more often, criticize less and celebrate successes consistently.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Encourages communication between the CEO and staff by requiring interdepartmental coordination.
  • Helps unite various departments and locations for a common purpose.
  • Gives the CEO a chance to evaluate whether the business’s operations reflect the company’s overall vision.
  • Creates a competitive advantage for the organization.
  • Identifies opportunities for improving process efficiencies and revenue streams.


Chief Operations Officer (COO)


What They’re Facing

Business Continuity Benefits for COOs"Work smarter, not harder" is the COO’s motto. As the person responsible for doing things more efficiently and profitably, the COO is challenged with staying abreast of rapidly evolving technologies, processes, security concerns and compliance requirements. As if these responsibilities aren’t stressful enough, the COO is fighting for a place in the C-suite.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Allows the COO to become more familiar with critical business processes, products and services, supply chains, employee roles and technology.
  • Improves business resiliency by allowing the COO to identify interdependencies and single points of failure.
  • Allows for innovation in everyday business activities and quick decision-making during an interruption, which gives the COO a chance to prove their value to the organization.
  • Satisfies federal and industry regulatory requirements.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)


Business Continuity Benefits for CFOs
What They’re Facing

The CFO role is changing, thanks to the influence of the global financial crisis, big data explosion and widespread social media adoption. In addition to managing stakeholders and overseeing financial management and reporting processes, the CFO is becoming more active in working with the CEO on the company’s strategic planning initiatives. In these different capacities, the CFO has to balance innovation with making sound decisions that protect the bottom line.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Protects the bottom line by reducing downtime and showing stakeholders the business will do what it takes to protect their interests.
  • Helps mitigate property and profit losses. (Some insurance providers will even reduce business interruption insurance premiums for having a demonstrable business continuity strategy.)
  • Provides an overall picture of business data and processes, which helps the CFO make business recommendations for improving day-to-day operations and avoiding lost revenue in the event of an interruption.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)


What They’re Facing

Business Continuity Benefits for CIOsRapidly changing mobile, social and cloud technology is transforming modern businesses. As a result, the CIO has to think on their feet and collaborate with other executives to see how they can use technology to increase business performance while managing cybersecurity risks and mitigating downtime. The CIO has to be skilled in ensuring that employees are kept informed and productivity isn't impacted.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Gains other departments’ cooperation in identifying key applications and interdependencies.
  • Helps resolve both small- and large-scale IT threats.
  • Improves efficiency and security of day-to-day operations.
  • Decreases frequency of outages and length of downtime.
  • Improves response to cyber threats.


Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)


Business Continuity Benefits for CMOs
What They’re Facing

As the driving force behind the organization’s brand image, the CMO has to learn to align the company with the end customer and bring in the number of qualified leads and conversions required to meet projected revenue goals. This task requires them to be knowledgeable and adaptable with the growth of big data, social media and the mobile movement.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Assists the CMO in identifying new marketing angles by giving them the opportunity to collaborate with other teams, such as the customer service department, to pinpoint clients’ pain points.
  • Reassures customers of the organization’s ability to provide uninterrupted service, giving the business a competitive advantage and even gaining more conversions.
  • Preserves revenue stream during an event, minimizing the likelihood of the marketing budget being cut.
  • Protects against reputation damage resulting from an interruption that would otherwise require remedial marketing efforts.

Chief Customer Officer (CCO)


What They’re Facing

Business Continuity Benefits for CCOsAs one of the newest members of the C-suite, the CCO is tasked with proving the value of their position to stakeholders and the rest of the executive team. They’re also responsible for managing customer satisfaction and retention in a market where customers expect on-demand service. To do so, the CCO must encourage profitable customer behavior, find new ways to serve customers efficiently and cost effectively, and work with the sales and marketing departments to bring in more of the right customers.

How Business Continuity Helps

  • Preserves the customer experience during an interruption, helping retention and even bringing in new customers.
  • Maintains customer trust as a result of the organization having a plan for communicating key details about an event.
  • Helps protect the business’s reputation.
  • Gives the CCO a framework for efficiently navigating a disruption, which in turn helps demonstrate the importance of the CCO role to the organization.

The benefits of business continuity extend beyond surviving an event (though that’s part of it). By showing individual members of the C-suite that business continuity can help them meet their unique objectives, your organization as a whole can reap the benefits.

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