Businesses Driving Businesses to Plan: The Planning Impetus

One of the greatest challenges, I think, with getting companies (and by this, I mean the BOD of companies) to pay more attention to and invest more capital in business continuity and disaster recovery plans is that there is no real “pain” in not having a plan unless a disaster occurs.

I mean, what pain does a company really realize by not having a viable business continuity plan?

There are no fines; no penalties; no lost revenue; no competitive disadvantage to really speak of.  Sure, us BCP/DR professionals will try to convince you this is not entirely true … but, come on, what pain does the Executive Suite really feel?  Be honest.  Any fines or penalties for not having a plan will only be levied when this fact is discovered FOLLOWING your inadequate response to a disaster.

The BCP Planners complain?  So what … it’s their job to complain.

Failed audits?  Big deal – pretend to fix the issues – just don’t spend too much money doing so.

Me, personally, I don’t think the government will or necessarily should audit plans and levy fines or penalties.  No, the impetus for getting BCP/DR planning really rolling in Corporate America (or World-wide) is when the big guys finally get so concerned with interruptions that might occur with their vendors and suppliers that they start making having viable, certified plans in place a condition for doing business with them.

This is when the pain will be felt.  Having your customers demanding you have plans in place in order to win or maintain their business will impact your bottom line.  Not having plans will be a competitive disadvantage.  And, you can bet your bottom dollar, the Executive Suite will ensure that this business requirement is fulfilled to their biggest customers’ satisfaction.

In my mind, when the big fish start to worry about the plans of their suppliers, BCP and DR planning will become a much more important strategic concern for all the smaller fish.  And, I think that time is coming.  Until then, good luck trying to find the pain points that work in your organization.

Thank you for your input.