A large part of business continuity has to do with measuring how an organisation stacks up compared to BC best practice, assessing processes in place to improve that performance and making a system of checks and balances to ensure that compliance with BC principles continues. Expressed like this, these aspects of business continuity start to sound remarkably like corporate governance. Business continuity even has the same three dimensions of ownership and reporting, involvement, and integration. From roots in IT, moving into operations and change management, and now emerging as a discipline in its own right, business continuity has also become an important part of good corporate governance.
The concept of governance itself has only come to the fore recently; even if many organisations have been doing it one way or another for much longer. Corporate governance means involvement by senior levels of management; it is ‘owned’ by C-level officers. It is important therefore that senior management also takes an active interest in business continuity. The incentives to do so are there. Besides better resilience, effective business continuity planning and management can help maximise quality, efficiency, cost savings, and competitive advantage. It also reinforces a good corporate reputation and opens up new business opportunities, while facilitating compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements into the bargain.
Senior management involvement in business continuity comes after awareness. DRI-ANZ runs a number of activities for this, including one-day business continuity overview courses, presentations and on-site visits to corporations that have implemented BC policies. All of these contribute to high level management perception of business continuity as a worthwhile component of corporate governance. Increased involvement is then repaid by the opportunity for business unit managers and directors to help shape the business continuity of their organisation in the way that helps them do their jobs in the most profitable and productive way.