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So you’ve done all the right things....

☑️ Your C-suite is on board with your business continuity (BC) program.
☑️ You’ve got your BC and disaster recovery (DR) plans hammered out.
☑️ You even have employee buy-in.
☑️ You’ve crushed the old school corporate mandate by getting mid-level manager buy-in.
☑️ Your employees know how important their roles are in company success.
☑️ You’ve hyped them up to continually evaluate risks and take initiative to thwart potential disruptions.

You get an A+, right? Hold up. Not quite.

When was the last time you put your BC or DR plans to the test?  When was the last time you surprised your team with a mock disaster scenario?  Can you remember the last time you conducted a tabletop test where your key team players evaluated your plans and thought through possible fail points?

If you’re not doing this regularly, it could be a big "F" on your success report card. And fatal errors undiscovered in your plans could be a death-knell for your company.

Business Continuity Testing by the Numbers

The 2019 Business Continuity Benchmark Study revealed that only about 14 percent of respondents review their business continuity and disaster recovery plans at least quarterly or twice a year. Most, 61 percent, review their plans once a year. Want to see more insights from the study? Download it now.

Another outside survey discovered that only 29 percent of companies test plans every 6 months to one time a year. Further, 33 percent indicated that even without testing, they ended up having to use their DR plan. Some of the most common reasons businesses faced disruptions include power outages, failed or poor internet connections, and hardware problems.

Leaning On Excuses

Lack of routine testing could be devastating for your business and is one of several ways your BC plans can come up short. Even the best prepared plans can fail if they’re not routinely tested, challenged, and updated.

So why do so many businesses fail to plan for disasters or major disruptions? Here are some of the most common excuses:

"I don’t have time."
"It’s not a priority for my company."
"It’s too expensive."
"I have too many other responsibilities."
"I don’t have the resources I need to test properly."
"Testing is too complicated."
"We’re so good at our jobs, we’ll just fix any problem as it happens. No worries!"
"We’ve been in business for years and never had a disaster, so why do we need a DR plan?"

While these excuses might feel like good reasons not to invest time and resources into testing, failing to routinely test could prove disastrous for your operations or at the very least incredibly inconvenient. Why risk it?

Did you know that 59 percent of mid-size businesses report they’ve experienced some 1-3 outages or disruptions in the past year?

It’s a similar percentage for both small and large businesses, too.

These outages, whether short or long term, are costly. That’s why excuses (especially “it’s too expensive”) just don’t hold water. It’s far more expensive and time-consuming to respond to a crisis or recover from a disaster than it is to properly test your BC and DR plans.

Gartner indicates the average cost of IT downtime alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars each hour. Those numbers keep going up when your operations screech to a halt.

Sadly, many companies only begin thinking about BC programs and DR plans after they’ve been affected by a major disruption or they’ve discovered their plans weren’t strong enough to keep their company operational or quickly recover.

Sometimes mismanagement of a crisis can be what causes a disaster.

Then, it’s no longer about the expense of planning or adopting a BC program, it’s the added expense of recovering from the disaster or disruption plus the additional costs of adopting a new BC program, changing or adopting other systems, training teams, and other components. And remember, failure can also negatively affect your brand’s reputation, your customer engagement, and decimate employee morale.

You don’t want to be one of these statistics.

Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and in this case, routine testing of your BC and DR plans is the key prevention metric you need.

Reach out to an Assurance team member today and let us help you start making your day-to-day operations more secure. Visit our website or contact an Assurance certified business continuity professional today. We will be happy to help.

For more great industry information, check out the 2019 Business Continuity Benchmark Study:

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Topics: Business Continuity

Assurance Software

Written by Assurance Software

Assurance Software takes your company’s enterprise-wide business continuity and resiliency program to the next level. With Assurance as your go-to partner for continuity and resilience, you can confidently mitigate risk, manage recovery, and safeguard your employees, customers, operations and brands.

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