How to “do” BCP on a budget.

Are you tasked with building a recovery plan for your business and you don’t know where to begin?  Have no idea how to calculate your budget or how to justify it? While it might sound like a daunting task, it really isn’t all that difficult, but you will need to learn some of the basics before you begin your journey!  The good thing is you aren’t alone; our customers have faced and overcome the same thing. Figuring out how to fund your Business Continuity Plan means not only determining what you DO need, it’s also about what you DON’T need.

First, determine the “why” and “how” of the project.

Why is it critical for your business to have a plan?  And how are you expected to get it done?  Most of this is simply finding the pressure point and leveraging that towards the funding and solution you have been tasked with.  If you need help with this, contact us and we’ll happily help you through the process, no charge.

Second, avoid the usual pitfalls.

Call trees, only IT backups, etc. will create a lot of work and aren’t even close to what you should have to pass an audit.  We have seen a million times how a call tree simply doesn’t work.  Why?  Simple: people are unreliable.  I know that sounds mean, but think about it.  They want “unreasonable” things like vacation, sick days, sick kids, out of the office, etc.  If they don’t pass their responsibilities to a co-worker, their link in the tree gets broken and that is the end of the call tree. Don’t spend your time or money on a solution that won’t work or that is insufficient for your needs.

The concept of “calling two friends and so on” works great for Shampoo yet it doesn’t give you a reliable method for notifying your team in the event of a disaster.  You might want to consider a notification solution like BEAM.  Simple, straightforward, reliable, and easy to use.  This is a central spot within your software solution that you can use to send messages out to everyone in your company, via email or SMS text message.

Third, stop thinking a disaster is only something huge

…like Covid-19, an earthquake, a hurricane, or similar.  A disaster can be something very small, any interruption to regular business really.  Think of the last snowstorm or power failure. Were you able to work as normal?  Did everyone make it to work at their regular hour?  For every hour lost, use our Return on Investment (ROI) tool to determine the “cost” of the interruption.  If you are trying to secure a budget, this is the best starting point as it puts some real numbers to each hour of downtime.

Finally, remember that there is more to Business Continuity than just backups and computer recovery.

There is the whole office component meaning who are our suppliers?  Who owes us money?  Who do we owe money to?  What are our Service Level Agreements (SLAs)?  Are there penalties we pay in the event we can’t deliver on contracts?  What are our legislative requirements?  This is the essence of Business Continuity – the entire business side of the corporation.  From a strictly IT perspective; there are the number of computers, what each of them does, not to mention how they are networked.  This type of information isn’t captured in the “backups” promised by your IT manager.  As you can see there is a lot more to BC/DR planning than computer backups and call trees.

It’s a lot to take in, but these are all things that you have to consider when it comes to planning and budgeting, and they are critical to building a foundation that you can go to senior management with.  If you simply ask them for money, with no reasoning or foundation, you aren’t likely to get any.  If you go to them with the numbers (i.e. dollars lost per hour of downtime), you are a lot more likely to get the funding you will need to build a successful plan.

About KingsBridge

KingsBridgeBCP offers businesses of all sizes BCP Software Solutions and industry know how based on best practices.  We help build, exercise, and maintain Business Continuity Plans. Our services and software packages are customized to meet the wide range of our customers’ needs, ensuring we deliver the best value in every project. To learn more click here or check out our Services.