The formulation of business management policies is important for the maintenance of business continuity. However, this is not enough. In this regard, it is important for every business entity to realize that the current business environment is riddled with lots of uncertainties. Specifically, they should be aware that uncertainties constitute natural part of the business operations. Indeed, in every decision that is made in business and n every activity that is conducted, a risk is always staring. In this regard, business managers need to be aware and full prepared to promptly respond to such disruption. In so doing, they will be able to recover from such disruptions and move on. These disruptions are important in making the businesses devise new dependable strategies that can be applied to bring maximum success. This paper evaluates the current challenges that face business continuity management (BCM) function. Specifically, it will explore the difficulties that exist in the implementation of the guidelines that are contained in BCI GPG 2013. Moreover, it will be the core business of this paper to describe the areas where BC managers can experience particular difficulty in making BCM work in an unreceptive business environment.
Business continuity management (BCM) entails the formulation, development, implementation and maintenance of a policy framework that aid a business entity in managing an event that is likely to disrupt its smooth operations. Specifically, the purpose of BCM is to build resilience in a mark that id full of risks and challenges. Indeed, BCM seeks to respond to or avert the effects of the happening of a disruptive business event. In business, there are several critical disruptive events, which albeit being infrequent, have severe consequences to the well-being of a business. To resolve these disruptions, there is a need for the management of the business to device routine management policies. In this regard, these risks include physical and non-physical events. Specifically, the disruptive-business events include; unexpected natural disasters, epidemics, uncertain loss of utilities, financial crisis, accidents, among other factors that pose an actual or perceived threat to business reputation and continuity. From the aforementioned, there are several factors that the business management function face. These will b discussed in the following paragraphs.
Most businesses have some functions that are intended to bring resilience to the business while maintaining the competitive edge. However, they are faced with the challenge of the lack of commitment and involvement from the senior management. In this regard, there are some of the senior management individuals who are very slow and others non-committed to the core function of the BCM. In this regard, they wait until the last minute before they can act on any uncertainty. Specifically, some senior management individuals are not well prepared for the risks that are real in the business world. As such, they are not involved in the formulation of the policies that are important in curbing the effects of the uncertainties. Additionally, some of them lack the vision and goodwill that is important for the business going forward. As such, any function that the BCM team plans is not well received by these certain individuals. The resultant effect of this is being caught unawares by the disruptive events. These events become inimical to the well being of the business. In the end, they can lead to the downfall of an entity. Some of the senior management delegate their responsibilities to others mid-level managers whom are unable to execute the plan effectively. This leads to poor formulation and implementation of policies.
The other challenge that BCM functions face is the lack of resources. In this regard, they lack both intellectual and financial resources to avert and if necessary respond to a certain current business disruption event. Specifically, some of the managers lack the knowledge and knowhow of the best ways that they can use to formulate the necessary response mechanisms. Even when they formulate them, they are still unable to figure out the best way to implement them. The result of these challenges is that the business will be caught flat-footed by the disruptive events. However, the root cause of these challenges in the lack of intellectual competency in managing such uncertainties. More importantly, where the intellectual competency required for the implementation of the said policies exists, there is now the lack of the necessary financial resources that could lead to the implementation of the said policies. In those circumstances, the policy makers will have done their part but the policy implementation will be hampered by the lack of financial resources.
The use of inappropriate approach is another factor that hinders the implementation of BCM function. In this regard, the management fails to tailor a risk assessment method that suits the nature and character of their organization. As a result, they use a generalized risk assessment measure, which is not compatible with their organization. Notably, if the organization's context were not compatible with the risk assessment methods, the resultant effect would be the identification of the wrong risks. In this case, the formulation of policies would be wrong if the risk assessment is improper. This is especially the challenge in organizations that do not have an extensive risk assessment department but borrow the assessment reports from other organizations. At the end of the day, the risks that are provided by that other organization which is involved in a business environment different leads to poor planning.
Organizations lack the various data interpretation tools for them to conduct a proper evaluation. In this regard, small businesses are unable o use the current data analysis tools, which shows the probable risks and disruptive events that, are likely to occur in the future. Even when they analyze the data, they get the wrong results which leads to wrong conclusions. As a result, they devise improper policies that they can use to mitigate the effects of the disruptive events and ensure that they still make profits. This challenge affects organizations, which lack the right professionals in data analysis and interpretation. Notably, small and medium size organizations do not have those professionals. As such, they are greatly affected by these challenges. As such, they end up being affected by the disruptive events despite the efforts that they make in the implementation of their BCM functions.
BCI GPG 2013 provides the history and development of the BCI good practice guidelines. In this regard, the guidelines provide a more refined structure of the applicability of business continuity in the future. Specifically, the guidelines state that the future lies with the ability of the BC to maintain the continuity and capability of information technology. With the growth and expansion of technology, there is a need for the review of the BCI guidelines so that businesses can be better prepared for the disruptive events, which keeps changing from time to time. Indeed, the technological advancements provide a clear basis for the review of the guidelines in existence. It is because of this that BCI GPG 2013 guidelines were formulated. All organizations that are law abiding must be governed by the BCI GPG 2013. In this regard, they must comply with the standards for maintaining quality and capability at the same time. However, the implementation of these guidelines is faced with many challenges.
Although the BCI GPG 2013 guidelines are meant to ensure that the current businesses are not caught in the same dilemma as the ones that existed before, the implementation of these guidelines to individual organizations, require a substantial amount of financial resources. In this regard, the formulators of the guidelines were not conscious of the fact that not all business entities possess the financial power necessary to make an evaluation on the quality and capability of their entity. As such, they put all the businesses under the same category thereby, formulating blanket policies that are not considerate of the differences in businesses capabilities. There is no doubt that the implementation of the 2013 guidelines will be essential for the preparedness of the business entities in the face of increasing risks and disruptive events. However, although the will to implement is there, the resources are inadequate. As such, the lack of financial resources will be a hindrance to the successful implementation of the guidelines.
The technicality of the guidelines requires the implementation of professionals not lay businesspersons and women. In this regard, the language used by the guidelines is a business one. As such, entities that do not have professionals in the business language will not be able to properly understand the requirements of the guidelines. Specifically the guidelines are not for starters but for establish organizations, which are able to comprehend the terms and requirements of the guidelines. Notably, an organization cannot implement guidelines that it does not understand succinctly. As such, they will have the guidelines but will not be able \to fully implementation them as they are unaware of what is required of them and what is best for their businesses. As said in the explanation of the first challenge, the will is there for the implementation but the challenges are enormous making the guidelines very difficult to pout into perspective.
The lack of consultation is the biggest challenge that the guidelines new face in their implementation. Organizations content that they were not consulted in the formulation of the guidelines. As such, they are not part of the guidelines. Specifically, those who were consulted are the successful and most established organizations that set the bar very high for the others. In this regard, the small and medium organizations are disadvantaged. Most of the guidelines are centered in the use of IT in monitoring the probable risks and having the necessary resilience mechanisms. However, most small and medium size organizations are not fully conversant with it. This disadvantage makes them unable to implement the guidelines. In any case, they lack the necessary technical knowhow on how to implement the said guidelines.
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