How the best in business continuity stay prepared

by Kelly McKenna & Rasheq Rahman

The job of disaster recovery teams has never been more important. Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) managers are now on the front lines, partnering with leaders across the organization and up and down the value chain to keep their businesses up and running.

A study by the IBM Center for Applied Insights highlights just how profoundly the rising expectations of consumers, business partners and employees are changing the responsibilities of BCDR professionals. Consider one eye-popping stat: in the past two years alone, nearly 40 percent of the 310 organizations we surveyed executed their disaster recovery plan following a service disruption.

Business today operates in an always-on world of cloud, mobile, analytics and social. We expect to access business-critical applications whenever and wherever we need them.

But as more devices and applications join the ranks of business-critical systems, more points of vulnerability emerge and the scale of potential disruption rises. The impact of disruptions caused by financial or environmental events, human error or cyberattacks is increasing, resulting in lost revenue, damaged brands and lower employee productivity. These business interruptions affect all of the stakeholders in an enterprise, from consumers to board members.

IBM_CaiResiliency_datagrams_Challenge1_post Our study identified an elite group of BCDR teams that deliver better results in the face of today’s challenging environment. These companies, which make up just a third of overall respondents, are more likely to get key revenue-generating business processes up and running quickly after a disruption. They’re also more likely to meet recovery time goals and lower their recovery costs.

How are they different from their peers? These high performers:

Take a holistic approach.
They’re more likely to maintain an integrated disaster recovery plan and involve senior management in resiliency planning.

Test rigorously.
Nearly 90 percent of leaders test their plans at least annually. And they’re more likely to update future plans based on what they learn during testing.

Collaborate with risk and security leaders.
More than half of stand-out resiliency teams involve their company’s CISO in business continuity planning and nearly one-third involve the CRO.

IBM_CaiResiliency_datagrams_Security Exploit new technologies.
Leaders often tap the cloud to maintain business continuity during a disruption and help restore crucial business processes rapidly. They’re also more likely than other resiliency teams to provide real-time mobile updates during a disruption.

As the digital world keeps progressing, companies face more widespread risk of disruption. Today’s products and services and virtually every aspect of business operations are becoming more keenly dependent on non-stop access to systems, networks and data. Businesses are progressively becoming more digitally intertwined with their customers, suppliers and partners. With vulnerabilities rising just as fast as all of these blossoming digital connections, organizations need to be prepared with battle-tested recovery plans.


Learn-more-CTA-IBMCAI-dkblueJoin Senior Analyst Rasheq Rahman on February 18 for a live discussion of the insights he learned from the IBM CAI disaster recovery study.

Register for the webinar

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