In a survey of 5,632 IT professionals, 47% noted that continuity and availability is the top concern for IT departments. Over the coming months and years, IT departments will continue to build out their plans for business continuity. Why is this the job of an IT department, as opposed to an executive team or a finance team?
There are several reasons why it’s smart for IT departments to prioritize business continuity. The biggest mistake an IT department can make is to be ill-prepared for an operational disruption. Investments in business continuity create an overall more resilient organization. Here’s why.
1. Continuity = Security
IT leaders are entrusted to make decisions that protect critical data and infrastructure every day. They decide what’s stored in the cloud, where data should migrate, and how often to conduct security audits. Many security decisions are considered when business continuity planning occurs. Before a disaster occurs, IT leaders will often implement a crisis communication system in order to build out security and communication plans. These systems make business continuity plans stronger. The more robust a business continuity plan is, the more robust overall security tends to be.
Continuity and security are symbiotic, and the health of one greatly impacts the other. Responsible IT leaders understand their role within the context of the larger organization. Frequently, IT departments are the beating heart of an organization’s greater security at large.
2. It’s a Good Investment
As an IT department, you may not always be in the business of thinking about profit, loss, and revenue. But you can have a serious impact on business. If you’re protecting your assets, your business has a better chance of minimizing risks and losses. You’ll protect your organization and allow it to stay competitive, which means that your IT department continues to collect paychecks.
It’s rare for a business to be completely detached from technology today. As an IT department, you should recognize your role in the company’s bottom line. When your partners, clients, and customers have confidence in your company’s technology, they’re more likely to maintain their allegiance to you. Business continuity planning ensures that you can continue to deliver goods and services during disruptions.
3. It improves overall organizational communication
IT departments usually have communication protocols. They build use cases and plan for various scenarios. They also test, track, and notate hypotheses and outcomes, much like scientists.
Business continuity is a way for IT departments to organize the results of those experiments an outcomes in a way that makes sense for the business. For example, an IT department may be working on 7 initiatives at once, from data migration to new employee IT set up to regulatory compliance projects. A business continuity plan will force the department to take a look at what happens to each of these initiatives in the case of a disruption, an attack, or a crisis that destroys the normal infrastructure. Business continuity is prioritized because it forces IT departments to quickly discover gaps in communication and planning, and then address them.
4. It Decreases Liability
Business continuity defines a very clear framework for a crisis. It allows an IT department to get out in front of an issue and mitigate it, in a situation where every second counts. When business continuity is planned for in advance, it’s a lot more difficult for subsequent blame to be placed on the failure of IT systems or processes.
If you don’t want to be liable for costly mistakes and disruptions, business continuity can solve that. As an IT department, you can clearly define your roles, capabilities, and responsibilities during times of disruption. These plans can include key personnel identification as well as templates that should be implemented in various situations.
5. It Forces Proactivity
When a cyber breach happens, it’s far too late to start identifying critical elements that need protection. A hacker or intruder has already targeted these elements. Business continuity plans force an IT department to be proactive about recognizing priorities. By identifying risks and critical functions, you’re being proactive about how you protect those core elements of your business.
When IT departments plan for business continuity, they demonstrate their commitment to protecting employees, assets, clients, and key operations. They also demonstrate proactivity and a willingness to put foresight into the security of the organization. Unexpected situations will arise, and when they do, business continuity planning proves an IT department’s ability to operate and preserve positive reputations.
Is business continuity a top priority for you? Learn more about the AtHoc Suite of crisis communication solutions.