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Evolution of Business Continuity in Digital Age

Evolution of Business Continuity in Digital Age
Vishal Bajpai - Senior Technical Lead | November 12, 2018
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All businesses around the world are exposed to risks or disruptions. There is no greater threat to business operations than cybersecurity. Lost data, compromised personal or financial information, and unplanned downtime can even put an organization out of business.

Organizations think too much “at the moment” when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery, but they need to focus on the long-term to improve overall business continuity performance. There are other factors evolved and become the backbone of business continuity models, such as communication failure, natural disaster, economic recession, and an act of terrorism, where management support and resources are needed for resiliency efforts. We all are approaching a machine-driven life, where every aspect of the business will be somehow affected by automation, making the business environment more complex.

The organizations are experiencing more disruptions than ever in the past few years where things are changing quickly or within no time. These disruptions can force the collapse of organizations or make it difficult to survive. This is where business continuity management system plays a vital role to effortlessly run the business without any interruptions. Business continuity management is indispensable for the endurance of the business. The business continuity model has evolved in recent years with an objective to reduce the legal, financial, and reputational damage for any given function of the organization. Now it can be managed or restored promptly, which results in easy adaptability that, in turn, increases the profitability of the business.

Business continuity strategy is defined as a collective management process that identifies potential impacts which threaten an organization and provide a framework for building resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its stakeholders, reputation, brand, and value creating activities. ~ http://www.bcmpedia.org

Business continuity services have grown in importance rapidly over the past few years with an aim of eliminating social and technological evils, which also replicates the crisis management (an inherent feature of it). Many of the businesses completely rely on IT now and operate 24x7. A puny interlude can cause considerable loss of revenue and customers, which results in damage to business reputation. In recent discoveries, it is found that approximately 25% companies or business who faced IT calamity for more than one day and less than a week went bankrupt immediately whereas 90% of the companies filed for bankruptcy in a year that lost their core data for 10 days. Everything revolves around data and that brings the whole new science called data science, which is now the enabler for future predictions, irrelevant to a specific business domain. In this ever-increasing global business world, the integration of various economies generates fresh challenges that have reinvigorated the development of business continuity management. We had seen the 2000 energy crisis, natural disasters like the tsunami in Japan, and epidemic flu, and, more recently, swine flu. All these events have a major influence on the development of business continuity plan and made it more important for the organizations to have a business continuity plan in place to avoid all the problems and disruptions caused by the upcoming unknown events.

Among the key threats that are causing evolution to business continuity modeling are:

  • Emerging digital technologies: Digital disruption is a transformation caused by a wave of emerging technologies and business models. Companies are now required to shape up quickly not only to innovative technologies what we call the “essential eight:” internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), drones, and blockchain but also join or collaborate with new players that are changing how industries will operate.
  • Cyber disruption, disasters, or catastrophes: It deals with preparedness, response, and recovery which are pervasive and require extensive due diligence to prevent both intentional and unintentional breaches that can cripple systems, result in lost data, and risk consumer confidence against brand value creation.
    • Geopolitical issues: These include area studies, climate, topography, demography, natural resources, and applied science of the region being evaluated. With more companies having a global presence in markets, suppliers, and regulations, it is necessary to watch for any changes and corresponding solution.
    • Compliance issues: The process of complying with desire, demand, proposal, coercion, or to the regimen. It requires strict monitoring, controls, assessments, and reporting that demonstrates adherence to federal, international, or industrial guidelines and regulations.
    • Legacy systems: It is based on outdated technologies, but is critical to day-to-day operations. Generally, management is unwilling to incur costs related to upgrading and at the same time actors who are using theses find it difficult to deal with the older system, also any modification to make it powerful require extensive customizations. In addition, the flurry of mergers and acquisitions over the past several decades mean there are organizations with multiple internal systems that are at risk.

In the 21st century, the speed of change reveals the incredible dynamics of modern businesses. The newly evolved digital technologies are the source of transformation. But it entails detailed analysis and decision-making to assess the ever-changing global market where the companies become early adopters or not.

These new and emerging risks require innovative and sound approaches to business continuity. The new approaches need to focus first on business strategies and objectives. They also need to see risks as not just threats but opportunities. Business continuity becomes agiler and user-friendly day by day where intuitive reporting showcases current state, plan status, reviews or evaluations, test results, and remediation status. There is a major emphasis on planning capabilities which allows us to test recovery plans, strategies, and tasks. It is consolidated yet distributed by enabling various workflows, i.e., automated review and approval processes for our standardized business continuity/disaster recovery plans.

The focus of business continuity has shifted broadly in these technological areas:

  1. Data protection/cybersecurity
  2. Real-time organization-level alerts
  3. Data duplication/data normalization
  4. Cloud disaster recovery
  5. Weather intelligence
  6. Digital technologies

Business continuity management can be a powerful force for change, innovation, and security within the organization

In this way, business continuity management can be a powerful force for change, innovation, and security within the organization. Business continuity and disaster recovery are not new methodologies. However, what can cause the disruption can be a never-ending process or it will become more complicated with neural networks. Awareness of disruption types and proactively updating the plan to handle different types of interruptions is a must to remain relevant. Business continuity management has now become a coherent economic strategy to risk management. It analyzes the risk exposure and possible consequences of these risks to the business and doesn’t just focus on the disruptions but also brings out the key refinements for the product and services which is required for the survival of the business and helping to reduce the impact on revenue, brand, and customer loyalty.

Business continuity management has now become a coherent economic strategy to risk management

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