I always find it interesting to see how the field of Business Continuity (BCP), Disaster Recovery (DRP) and Continuity of Operations (COOP) is continually evolving. Recently I was asked to comment on the “need” for BCP consultants when a client already has BCP software. Before this month this wasn’t a big deal, but now it’s a hot topic that seems to be gaining momentum. What are we seeing when it comes to having a consultant in house to complete your planning?
BCP Software or BCP consultants
In the old days, consultants were the only way to go since software vendors (us included) hadn’t built tools that were simple to use. Thereby requiring a Business Continuity consultant to really get the BCP, DRP, or COOP plan into a finalized actionable state.
As time evolved the consultant was still an integral part of the process, but Business Continuity software vendors were getting closer to building a tool that clients could use themselves to build a successful BCP, DRP or COOP plan.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a shift since the software has improved allowing clients to build a plan themselves – pushing consultants out of the process. Unfortunately, after 2009 a lot of the people doing the BCP, DRP, COOP planning at their companies were let go or given “more important tasks”. This left the planning in disarray and inevitably the planning took a back seat.
But now we’re seeing that shift again. Planning still needs to be done, but clients were whittled down to a skeleton staff. And now there’s a resurgence in the need for BCP, DRP and COOP consultants. The reality is it’s still more cost effective to hire a consultant than have full time staff for planning.
So this must mean the consultant has won the battle of survival?
Sort of… Clients are smarter now, they are asking for a complete solution rather than letting a vendor push their services. We are seeing maturity in the questions that we haven’t seen before. This is excellent as it means clients are doing their homework and their expectations are that much higher. Consultants and planning software are finding a good balance of being able to offer a complete solution.
In the end, clients come out on top because they are reaping the benefits of a more comprehensive solution.
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