Recently I was chatting with a fellow BCM professional about a multiple of topics with regards the BCM industry. The gentleman worked for a large consulting firm and we touched base on many subject areas. What struck me as odd was that this person – who’d only been in the industry 2 years and had no certifications – seemed to have a response to everything. He had a formidable plan to respond to any disaster situation and noted that he’d helped numerous clients work through disaster.
I must admit, I’m a bit sceptical of anyone with 2 years experience and not formal training stating they understand the industry and have worked with many clients to help them through crisis situation. Granted, it may be true. However, the information I was hearing was not in line with the good practices outlined by the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) or the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). In fact, it seemed to be that this individual didn’t understand most of the BCM industry.
I could see he was well versed with technology and some of the things he stated went over my head like a 747 on its way to Europe, even though I could see he knew his stuff.
This got me thinking that there may be many other individuals who claim to understand BCM – or as he called it, disaster planning – but only focus on the Information Technology (IT) side of things. Of course, IT recovery is a big part of a restoration and recovery strategy and unless you’ve been living under a rock, IT is a big part of how business is done. It isn’t the beginning and end all of BCM though.
What he failed to understand and had trouble communicating were the other components of BCM such as Crisis Management, Emergency Response and the Business Impact Analysis (BIA). He really didn’t understand what a BIA was nor how it fit into the overall scheme of things. If found the perplexing. How did he know what to build for a technology recovery strategy if he didn’t know what a BIA was, which identifies all the core processes needed to be operations immediately when a disaster occurs? Without the BIA he must have been guessing.
So if you use any sort of consultant or external provider to help you with you BCM program, make sure they understand that BCM is more than just technology – even if it is a key component. A good practitioner should be able to address most – depending upon their expertise preference – components of BCM and if they don’t fully understand a component, be able to ask the right questions to get to the right answers.
Beware the Know-I.T.-All, as they may only know BCM from the IT perspective and not the full gamut of how all the program components relate to each other.