BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND DISASTER RECOVERY - IMPORTANT FOR EVERY BUSINESS AND ORGANISATION
Managing Business operations in current times is a big challenge. Apart from having to keep looking at the bottom lines and market shares, the managements have another major area to be concerned about which is to continually keep assessing the risk to the business from all quarters and build Disaster Recovery plan in place.
It is true that businesses face a lot of threats from several quarters including external threats from terrorists, natural calamities, unforeseen circumstances besides internal systems failures threatening shut down of operations, etc. In the highly competitive world today, every organization has realized the value and the need to have disaster recovery and a business continuity plan in place to avoid disruption to the services and customers. No business today can afford to have disruptions to its operations and deliveries. Realizing the uncertainties and the need to cover the risks, customers today have begun to demand that the Supplier Organizations and vendors demonstrate their capability to execute a viable Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans in place. On the whole, we can say that every stakeholder in the business has the interest to see that the business continuity is maintained at all times.
Business Continuity & Customers
Take the case of critical IT systems and network installations in Banks and Credit Card companies. Banking, hospitals, telecommunications and such critical operations cannot afford a failure on the part of their IT Systems both in terms of systems failure or hardware failure. They select vendors and partner with only those who are able to demonstrate the capability and provide a workable solution for business continuity and disaster recovery. Providing such a plan has become a part of the total solution proposal and the cost of such a plan may not come cheap. However, both the supplier and customer organizations cannot afford to go without a plan in place.
Brand & Market Share
Retaining brand leadership and market share is a huge challenge for companies. In the face of intense competition, the brands have got to keep up their performance on quality, delivery and all fronts to ensure they maintain their growth rates. When faced with several options and choices, the Customer recall of a brand and loyalty to the brand may be very weak. In such cases, the companies cannot afford to have any disruption to supplies or absence from the market.
During the last year, floods in Thailand & Philippines caused immense damage to the plants especially the automotive and electronic industries. As a result, the production and supplies to the markets were disrupted for quite a few months causing immense damage to the market share as well as to the financial health of the company.
Global companies usually have multiple locations in different regions of the world. Such multiple locations help them cover the risk of plant shut down to a large extent for they can easily set up alternative production lines and get started faster than the other companies who do not have alternatives on hand.
Stake Holder Expectations
Managements today are answerable to a host of stakeholders in their business. They are answerable to the board and shareholders who expect the company to perform under all circumstances. Besides, the regulatory authorities as well as the financial institutions who extend credit and fund the Company expect their returns and performance from the Company irrespective of any disruption. Security and Safety is a major concern that is required to be addressed by Companies from the point of view of human resource angle as well as from an insurance perspective.
With all of the above requirements, it has become imperative for Companies in current times to adapt a disaster management and business continuity plan irrespective of the size of the Company. As business practices, products and technology are evolving, so are the risks and the need to cover the risks and ensure business continuity.