Operational leaders of nearly every organization, regardless of size, geography or industry, have seen a seismic shift in the unexpected changes to operational processes over the last few years. From supply chain and infrastructure disruptions, remote work and severe staff shortages to rapidly rising prices, each business has a striking story to tell of how it has been impacted. It’s also likely these companies have also seen emerging threats including cybersecurity risk and ransomware events, climate change effects, emerging geopolitical unrest and a growing war for talent. These new threats are in addition to the standard all-hazards approach evaluation to emergency preparedness planning that historically focuses upon capacities and capabilities critical to preparedness for major risks including environmental risks, man-made risks, technology risks and business process risks. Many have paid the heavy toll that unanticipated downtime can take as costs have skyrocketed.
We all hope these challenges are now in our rearview mirrors, but it’s clear that the road ahead will need to be carefully addressed to incorporate evolving enterprise business continuity management (EBCM) methodologies, tools, techniques and continuous improvement to drive operational efficiency. An even more effective approach is to deliver business continuity management programs using a managed services provider.
Why managed services?
Enterprise Business Continuity Management is critical to an effective implementation of operational resilience for all mature organizations in today’s business environment. A managed network approach supported with professional services will reduce implementation and ongoing maintenance risks while focusing on business resumption, data protection, technology resilience and regulatory compliance.
The 7 immediate benefits
In our consulting services work here at Protiviti, we are seeing more clients turn to a business continuity and technology resilience solution delivered via a managed services provider to effectively manage their EBCM investments, addressing the key issues of operational recovery, risk transfer, and management’s acceptance of the residual enterprise risks that may also exist.
We believe that business continuity and technology resilience through managed services has now become an optimal approach to implementing an effective EBCM program, offering seven important benefits, including:
Ensuring that qualified talent is maintained to improve EBCM throughout the lifecycle
The recent “Great Resignation” and strong labor market demand has left organizations with gaps in experienced EBCM resources as well as loss of Single Points of Failure (SPOF) resources that are critical to recovery from business disruptions and disasters. Full-service Managed Services partnerships provide current industry insights and on-demand access to Subject Matter Experts (SME).
Providing lower human resources fixed costs with greater short-term and long-term human resource allocation flexibility over time
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees carry burdened costs and with them the inability to quickly interchange with more appropriately skilled resources as the business continuity and technology resilience requirements of an organization change. Managed services providers reduce overall human resource fixed costs and enable companies to be more agile in addressing the numerous evolving potential business and technology hazards.
Decreasing execution risks and uncertainty of a comprehensive BCM program that delivers return on investment
Organizations are confronted today with risks related to both effectively executing the BCM program as well as systemically assessing threats to their business. Managed services providers deliver a proven approach to business continuity and technology resilience while customizing the continuity risk assessment (CRA) for each enterprise. The CRA executed by managed services providers utilize a growing proprietary risk and threat inventory library and evaluate a company’s unique potential hazards based upon impacts including severity, likelihood and velocity.
Including knowledge of continually changing regulations to fully meet regulatory compliance requirements
The regulatory requirements for business continuity and technology resilience are repeatedly modified and vary across industry sectors. For example, in the financial services industry the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issues Matters Requiring Attention (MRA) and the Federal Reserve issues Matters Requiring Immediate Attention (MRIA) that are costly to address and may impact the ability to conduct business. Managed services providers remain current on regulatory requirements through experience providing risk management and compliance services to numerous clients each year and support organizations with preempting regulatory findings.
Delivering subject matter experts who have the experience and expertise of implementing industry-leading practices across hundreds of leading organizations
Every organization implements an individual approach to business continuity and technology-based upon factors including historical experience that may not effectively leverage current industry-leading practices. Managed services providers begin with BCM programs that have been successfully implemented internationally across industry sectors and tailor to each company’s unique business and technology requirements, size, customer focus and risk profile.
Incorporating BCM methodology, tools, techniques and documentation of technology solutions
Organizations require proven BCM methodologies and supporting tools to address the current complex risk and threat environment. Managed services providers maintain libraries of actionable BCM strategies, polices, standards, charters, procedures and templates. Additional services include expertise in leading BCM / governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and emergency communications tools’ evaluations, implementations, data migrations, optimization and maintenance.
Encompassing continuous improvement capabilities to understand how best to integrate evolving leading practices into operations and resilience strategies, while remaining aligned to the organization’s business resumption requirements and risk profile
A continuous improvement program includes managing remediation activities identified during actual business disruptions and throughout the annual BCM update activities (e.g., business impact analysis, continuity risk assessment, business continuity plans, crisis management plans, disaster recovery plans, tests and exercises, etc.) that are prioritized by characteristics including criticality, urgency, business benefits, resources and budget. Managed services providers deliver the EBCM governance to mature the program including Board reporting, executive management dashboards and performance metrics.
Given how the world has changed over the last several years, the business continuity and technology resilience function within every small, medium and large global organization is more critical than ever before. Enterprises must prepare for the myriad of simultaneous and escalating daily threat events that can severely disrupt a company’s business operations and cause serious financial performance risk.
Organizations must also continuously develop recommendations for implementing enhanced controls that will reduce the likelihood and/or severity of disruptive event occurrence. Choosing a managed services provider can make a world of difference.
In addition, implementing leading practice risk avoidance controls will be considered a company’s best risk mitigation investment for the present and for the future.
Staying ahead of the next operational disruption is a 24/7 endeavor. Comprehensive continuity planning and proactive monitoring must address current threats and then will be continually tested and communicated to employees, contractors and key stakeholders.
A thorough business continuity management refreshment and review across all operations ensures process consistency, planning timeliness, sustainability and enables ongoing resilience of critical business operations including all underlying dependencies and support services.
On a cyclical cadence, critical activities within each category must be customized to address specific concerns while maintaining the overall capability and cohesiveness of the BCM program. Advanced BCM programs require complete annual evaluations due to the rapidly changing dynamic risk environment. This evergreen approach will secure the successful recovery of current critical business functions, technologies, personnel, facilities, and third-party service providers.
Moving forward with confidence
Today, organizations are confronted with increasing fiduciary and legal responsibilities of implementing effective EBCM programs while also maintaining the essential qualified internal staff to execute robust business continuity and technology resilience.
Whether an organization has implemented a mature EBCM program or if management teams are evaluating alternatives to augment their existing EBCM programs – the insights provided within Your Guide to Business Continuity and Resilience will improve the design, performance and implementation of any EBCM program with up-to-date leading practices and with the most comprehensive solutions support.