Effectively convincing senior management of the need for detailed, programmatic business continuity, even in this day and age, continues to be a major headache for too many BC professionals. Even in organizations where a dedicated position – or not as good but often sufficient part-time position – has been designated for the purpose, communicating the need for a detailed, rehearsed and constantly improving disaster backup plan is often difficult at best.
So here’s an easy way: tell them to give up their car insurance.
None of us needs car insurance. Not really. Leaving aside varying state requirements that drivers maintain liability insurance, if you’re reading this the chances are that you don’t really need auto insurance. At least not to replace your car. Think about it. If, on the way to lunch tomorrow, you had a wreck and your car was totaled, even if you didn’t have auto insurance the chances are excellent that you’d have a new car by tomorrow night. Sure, it would be a hassle and you might not be able to get the exact car you want but the fact is that you could get a new car without insurance and probably very quickly if you needed to. And even if you couldn’t, there are a number of readily available transportation options that you could easily and immediately adapt to.
Sure, it makes sense to have car insurance because it makes replacing such a vital, single element of our lives much easier and quicker. But that’s the point – it’s a single element and not a complex entity like your business which is a far more dynamic and is affected by many more external factors to sustain its productivity and even its viability.
So what if your company were affected by a similar crash, especially one that was, as is often the case, sudden and without warning? Without the different types of continuity assurance that are the result of a solid continuity plan put in place, practiced and continually perfected, if your company underwent a substantial interruption of production as the result of being ‘totaled,’ recovery would be extremely difficult if not impossible. And certainly not the same day or very shortly thereafter.
Another major consideration is that the cost of bolstering your company’s overall resilience relevant to the assets of the company – especially compared to the relatively high cost of auto insurance to the cost of the car itself – is so small that it’s almost negligible. Auto insurance even for an expensive car probably runs between one and three percent of a personal budget but it takes a far smaller investment for a company to enact and maintain a solid business continuity plan.
Whether in dollars or hours spent in preparation, it’s simply the best, least risky and wisest investment of time and money. Remember, 9 out of 10 companies (90%) unable to resume business operations within 5 days of a disaster are out of business within a year. Nearly 4 out of 5 (78%) of businesses faced with a catastrophe without a contingency plan are out of business within 2 years.
To continue the analogy even more proactively to the benefit of your argument, consider that with each adjustment to our individual lifestyles – having kids, getting a new laptop, buying a second car for the family – the insurance industry has a corresponding way of providing insurance. Unfortunately the same can’t be said each time your company goes through an expansion, begins providing a new service or enhances a division. Shorter version: don’t forget to take into account the changes that your company is constantly undertaking. Each change in course, whether frequent or extremely rare, requires a corresponding adjustment to your response and recovery plan.
So maybe don’t actually go without car insurance. But don’t be afraid to use the analogy. It’s an eye-opener.
Continuity Housing helps companies enhance their business continuity plans by pre-arranging guaranteed housing and providing logistical support for mission-critical employees during disasters.