The New Age of Corporate Tech and Business Continuity

Whether it be a global pandemic, natural disaster, or World War 3, nothing short of a zombie outbreak has been suggested for a cataclysmic demise. Humans’ continued existence has hinged, largely, on our ability to prepare and execute precomposed plans for these types of events.

Part two of the New Age of Corporate Tech series discussed next-generation security management solutions utilized in today’s corporate realm. Even if an organization utilizes these best-of-breed solutions, unforeseen events that adversely affect business operations are imminent. Organizations’ ability to survive and thrive an adverse event is wholly dependent on their ability to prepare before it happens.

Yesterday’s Business Continuity: A Disaster in Itself
Business continuity management and disaster recovery planning (BC/DR) is a complex endeavor that companies have traditionally managed using manual processes.

The “red binder labeled, ‘Emergency,’ tucked away in some long-forgotten location” approach was commonplace, but proved futile when the office caught fire. It was eventually replaced by shared documents on individual computers, which aided in wide-spread circulation of BC/DR information, but caused headaches with versioning and education/awareness. If those weren’t issues enough, neither of these methods prioritized recovery strategies, or helped to determine if appointed strategies would even work.

Today’s organizations operate in a complex risk landscape with a growing number of threats that can adversely impact operations. Companies of all sizes need to ensure their essential business functions remain available should adversity strike. If a crisis affects your business, your customers may still need products or services. Ask yourself: Will they wait for you to recover or go to your competitor? Will you be able to fulfill contracts and service agreements?

Recovering from Yesterday’s Disaster: The Future of BC/DR
The reality is there is no clear ROI for BC/DR efforts. It does little in increasing business or reducing costs. Expenditures in contingency plans and response training are like insurance. The payoff of an effective BC/DR program is realized in the ability to quickly reestablish business operations and minimize losses following an adverse event.

To be effective, a BC/DR program must incorporate an organization’s proactive and reactive efforts. Identifying and mitigating enterprise-wide risks that can lead to business disruptions provides the foundation of any BC/DR program. Linking this information to mission-critical operations, then planning, creating and practicing appropriate recovery processes is crucial to proactive preparedness.

Modern GRC solutions have become the technology of choice to manage BC/DR programs. These solutions create efficiency and organization through automation of processes within a centralized environment. With the help of a GRC solution, organizations are provided comprehensive, enterprise-wide BC/DR programs with the ability to:

  • Create custom plans, but also support major existing BC/DR frameworks
  • Centralize plans and key contacts into a single accessible repository with the ability to export plans to various formats
  • Conduct business impact analysis (BIA) to determine cost of potential losses and recovery priorities
  • Test plans with tabletop exercises to determine likely outcomes
  • Create reports to gather valuable insight about the execution of plans; Revise plans to optimize results
  • Establish workflows to regularly review plans and allow collaboration to ensure the plans receive all required approvals
  • Map plans to risks, controls, processes, and vendors

Companies would obviously rather not have to execute these procedures in real-life scenarios. However, having a reliable response plan in place grants organizations the ability to react accordingly, and quickly return to business-as-usual, thus protecting the bottom line. The good news is, by utilizing new technology such as a GRC solution, tasks involved with BC/DR processes no longer add to the nightmare an organization is planning for.

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