This article aims to highlight the factors to consider when choosing these important roles.
What is required of a business continuity services coordinator
What is a business continuity services coordinator? A business continuity services coordinator is a designated person responsible for establishing business continuity services arrangements for an organization. There are three ways to fill this role.
- Assign tasks to existing employees
- Hire a dedicated business continuity services coordinator
- Hire a business continuity services coordinator from an external organization specializing in business continuity services management.
Many small organizations usually choose the first option due to the nature of their business and the time required to close the deal. But for many organizations, the cost of funding the necessary training and the time required for the employee to carry out their job and the business continuity services role will mean that this option is not realistic.
Most organizations choose to either recruit a fully skilled coordinator to be a full-time employee or utilize the services of a consultant from an organization specializing in business continuity services management. Which of these options is ultimately selected will depend on whether there is enough business continuity services work to keep the coordinator busy, initially creating and then maintaining and exercising the plan.
Whichever of the options are selected by your organization, the skills required of the coordinator are the same.
Specific business continuity services skills required
DRI International recommends that the following skills and attributes should be demonstrable by the person chosen:
- Project initiation and management – this will require them to establish the need for the business continuity services function, including:
- Resilience strategies
- recovery objectives
- business continuity services
- crisis management plans
- including obtaining management support
- managing the formulation of the function or process either in collaboration with or as a key component of an integrated risk management initiative.
Risk Assessment and Control – events and external environment that may adversely affect the organization and its resources (facilities, technology, etc.), the damage such events may cause, and measures to prevent or minimize the Ability to determine the control required for Potential Loss Impact. A cost-benefit analysis should also be provided to justify the investment in risk mitigation controls.
Business Impact Analysis – The need to identify the potential impact of disruptions on an organization and the techniques that can be used to quantify and assess that impact. It also identifies time-sensitive features, their recovery priorities, and interdependencies, allowing recovery time goals to be set.
BCM Strategy Development – Defines and guides the selection of possible business operations strategies to maintain business continuity services within recovery point and time objectives while maintaining the organization’s critical functions.
Emergency Response and Response – Develop and implement procedures for responding to incidents and stabilizing situations, including establishing and managing emergency response facilities that act as command centers during emergencies.
Business continuity services and Contingency Plan Development and Implementation – Design, development, and implementation of plans to ensure continuity within recovery time and recovery point objectives.
Awareness and training programs – Prepare programs to develop and maintain business awareness and develop the skills necessary to develop and implement a business continuity services program or process and its supporting activities.
Maintenance and Exercise Planning – Pre-plan and adjust exercise plans, assess and document exercise results. Develop processes to maintain current ongoing capabilities in alignment with the organization’s strategic direction. Validate that plans are effective against appropriate standards and report results clearly and concisely.
Crisis Communications – Develop and coordinate communication plans with internal stakeholders (employees, management, etc.), external stakeholders (customers, shareholders, vendors, suppliers, etc.), and media (print, radio). , evaluate, and execute. , TV, Internet, etc.) in the event of a disaster.
Coordination with External Agencies – Appropriate procedures and policies for coordinating continuity and recovery activities with external agencies (local, national, emergency response, defense, etc.) while ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Need more skills
In addition to specific business continuity services skills and experience, the multidisciplinary nature of this position requires individuals to possess various soft skills.
Comfortable work – A good business continuity services coordinator advocates for business continuity services within an organization. That means discussing it with everyone who will listen, from executives down. Everyone in the organization will see the coordinator roaming the building and may react negatively if not explained why.
Internal stakeholders should know the coordinator’s project before it officially begins. They must be able to speak face-to-face with individuals at their respective levels of understanding.
Curiosity – An all-knowing coordinator ensures that plans fail because of wrong assumptions. Assumptions are a fatal mistake in business continuity services planning and should be avoided at all costs. Assumptions aside, most people don’t work with someone who “already knows it all.” Working with the department’s subject matter experts is essential to a successful plan.
Diplomacy – Relies on the goodwill of all those affected by the plan, unless the coordinator is a senior director or official of the organization. Typically, that means operations-level managers and their staff, as there must be involvement from subject matter experts if the plan is to protect the organization as a whole.
Documentation – business continuity services planning heavily depends on documentation, and the coordinator must be comfortable producing such deliverables. While a proposal may not be necessary, there still needs to be produced a statement of work and a project plan.
The coordinator must be able to create concise documents for the responders and must keep in mind that responder instructions may be given to someone other than the person who normally would perform the specific task. Consequently, details are critical.
Marketing and selling the process – coordinators must constantly market and sell business continuity services even when the function has senior management support; the coordinator needs to convince others that planning is good for them, that it protects them as individuals, protects their jobs, and it may help them get new hardware or software to enhance their efficiency and value to the organization.
Mentoring – Subject matter experts know almost everything you need to know about their field. However, unless you are an expert on business continuity services, you will need guidance from your coordinator. Mentoring helps develop skills that others can use now and in the future.
Organization – Coordinators should have above-average organizational skills. They juggle multiple tasks and work in semi-isolation most of the time.
Training – In large organizations with training departments, coordinators still need training skills. We need to help professional trainers create their curriculum. In the absence of trainers, coordinators need a proven methodology.
In addition to these specific business continuity services skills, the coordinator’s ability to work effectively with business stakeholders requires extensive hands-on experience in business operations, preferably at the managerial level.
Coordinators should apply their experience with operational drivers, needs, and issues to the business continuity services planning requirements of the organization’s business leaders. After the coordinator has “walked the road,” they confidently “speaks the language.”
Real-world professional experience is probably more important than the personal skills mentioned above.
What we look for in a business continuity services partner
With the ever-grow
in the number of organizations offering BC solutions, separating the good from the indifferent is difficult. Below is a list of important factors to consider when choosing a business continuity services partner.
A clear distinction between business continuity services and disaster recovery
Disaster recovery has traditionally been the beginning and end of an organizational strategy for dealing with unplanned events. Disaster recovery ensures that your IT systems and data can be recovered after unplanned downtime.
However, in recent years, the growth of business continuity services management has shifted the focus to preventing such events rather than repairing them through disaster recovery. As a result, disaster recovery has become part of the overall process.
We hope that potential partners will understand this distinct distinction and be able to offer recovery services that focus not only on the technologies that support critical business processes but also on non-computing resources such as end-user workspaces and telephony.
It is important. Additionally, these services must be fully integrated rather than combined as needed. This level of service can only be provided by an organization specializing in business continuity services or another division of a larger group.
Multi-vendor and multi-platform capabilities. The heterogeneity of modern computing infrastructure means that even the smallest organization must take advantage of a multi-vendor, multi-platform environment.
Future business continuity services partners should be able to replicate this environment as a starting point for restoring critical business processes. This requires significant physical hardware and software investments to replicate critical systems.
Other factors to consider are:
- Can they support changing technology in parallel with your investments?
- How much are you investing in technology for business continuity services solutions?
- How do you support legacy technologies that parts of your organization may rely on?
The physical location of the resource
While a partner can centralize the location of most of his IT investments for business continuity services purposes, the same is true for providing physical space and resources for laid-off employees to work in an emergency.
The geographic location of such resources should be close to your current workplace. Unacceptable travel times have economic consequences in overtime and travel costs. Still, European working time directives and the inability of staff to meet their household responsibilities can derail even the best plans.
One area many organizations considering partnering with a business continuity services provider need to consider is the number of subscribers who have already signed up for the service. A large unplanned event will likely impact many regional organizations, all of which may be registered with the same BC partners and resources. In a situation like this, how do you ensure that you get access to the services you paid for? The key is finding out at the right time:
- What is the maximum number of subscribers allowed to use the service?
- How many customers are currently subscribed to the service?
- How long does it take to reserve a test slot?
- What are the syndication charges for device usage?
By analyzing the answers to these questions, you can determine if a particular location is overbooked, thus avoiding problems that may arise later.
Given the geographic nature of threats such as bombs, fires, and floods, it is also important to consider how many other clients are within a given radius of the potential partner’s location. In the event of an incident, you will be competing with these other clients for recovery space. Exclusion zones are usually tied to subscription prices, so you should ensure potential partners apply them. For example, it may be wise to ensure that no other organization within 500 meters of your site has subscribed to the same Recovery Center suite.
Skills and experience
An important factor to consider when choosing a business continuity services partner is the organization’s and its employee’s skills and experience. Here are some things to consider:
- How many years have you been providing dedicated business continuity services?
- How many times per year are recovery tests performed?
- How many disasters were they able to handle?
- Do they have extensive experience across many industries and disaster scenarios?
- Do you have a dedicated support team that understands their role in recovery?
- What is their competency profile and work experience?
- What business continuity services certifications and credentials do they have?
- Do you understand the integration of IT and business strategy?
- Do they understand the e-commerce dependencies and business-critical processes that are important to your business?
Quality and performance
A potential partner’s reputation is generally recognized in the market, and references should always satisfy the customers they have helped in rebuilding situations.
Additionally, you should consider:
- Is the partner ISO9000 registered?
- What steps are you taking to keep up with business continuity services industry developments?
- Do you comply with the information security management guidelines outlined in ISO/IEC 17799?
- What contingency plans do you have to cover disruptions to your facility?
More generally, the partner’s financial situation and profitability should be examined to ensure that the partner is available when needed.
The best way to move your relationship forward is to test your partner’s skills first and restore some of your business. After convincing you that they can deliver what they promise, be ready to sign the long-term contracts you need. When a disaster could cost your business millions of pounds and the lives of hundreds of your employees, when making decisions, look beyond pure cost to partner selection. It makes sense to consider the risks associated with providing the service.
As you have learned above how important choosing the right partner is . It’s the basic need of any enterprise to work smoothly and efficiently. So follow these steps and you surely will be able to find the right partner.