Change is the only constant.
We always find it interesting to see how the field of Business Continuity (BCP), Disaster Recovery (DRP) and Continuity of Operations (COOP) continues to evolve. Recently I was asked to comment on the “need” for BCP consultants when a client already has BCP software. 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. You really needed a Business Continuity consultant to really get the BCP, DRP, or COOP plan into a finalized actionable state.
As time evolved, the consultant remained an integral part of the process, but BCP software vendors moved closer to building a tool that you could use to build a successful BCP, DRP or COOP plan.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a shift as BCP software has improved, allowing clients to build a plan themselves – pushing consultants out of the process. Unfortunately, over time, a lot of the people doing the BCP, DRP, COOP planning at their companies have been let go or given “more important tasks”. This leaves the planning in disarray and, inevitably, the planning takes a back seat.
Of course, planning still needs to be done, but clients have been whittled down to a skeleton staff. And now there’s a resurgence in the need for BCP 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 BCP 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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