For Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) aficionados, the first piece of news is that BCAW 2016 won’t be happening in March, as in previous years, but in May. To be precise, BCAW 2016 will run from the 16th to the 20th of May, with a calendar of different events and a particular theme: return on investment for business continuity. As BCAW organisers point out, organisations can and should look beyond the advantages if a disruption occurs, to add in positive impacts on winning sales, reducing insurance premiums, and so on. Yet there may be a possibility to go further still.

There is a hint that can be taken from today’s IT and the move from the product-centric to a service-oriented enterprise. In both cases, forward-looking organisations are not just doing things better with the new technology, they are doing better things as well. IT and software in particular are being used to enable new business processes, ventures and offerings.

Business continuity could develop along similar lines. Better business continuity, backed up by data and demonstrable capabilities, could help move into new sales sectors, reorganise internal processes to strip out inefficiencies and create new synergies. This may sound like business re-engineering, but there is an important difference. Business continuity has another starting point – the need to ensure maximum resilience for minimum expenditure of resources. What they have in common however is the need for an un-blinkered approach and an open business mind to identify chances to get ahead, not just avoid falling behind.

So for BCAW’s birthday (already 11 years old!) this year a couple of months later, we certainly wish this event many happy returns, excellent ROI, and perhaps more too. The more business continuity practitioners look for collateral benefits like cost reductions, productivity enhancements, employee satisfaction and confidence, and also strategic leverage for growth and competitiveness, the more C-level executives will fund and support business continuity.