« Continuity of Operations Planning

Incorporate more scenario-based analysis for greater efficient business continuity

Scenario-specific business impact analysis is an essential part of high-quality continuity planning.
Scenario-specific business impact analysis is an essential part of high-quality continuity planning.

Business continuity isn't just about protecting systems and recovering from a crisis. As technology improves, firms are able to make their strategies more efficient, focusing on speed and cost rather than just recoverability. One step in achieving more efficient continuity of operations planning is to focus on scenarios-based analysis, rather than broad recovery efforts.

According to Operational Risk & Regulation, focusing on structured business impact analysis provides several benefits to companies looking to optimize their continuity efforts. Companies need to identify the scenarios that are the most realistic threats to their operations, based on their industry, location and company-specific factors. These include exposures, such as data leaks and regulatory risks, and vulnerabilities, ranging from natural disasters to security weaknesses.

Performing scenario-specific analysis will help companies better understand what threats to continuity require immediate attention versus those that can be set as secondary priorities or require management attention but not direct action. This information will also allow companies to determine their greatest recovery needs, while eliminating denial risks – refusal to admit that specific scenarios are an actual threat.

"Too often in practice, the results of the exercise are left in a drawer until next time, disconnected from strategic and day-to-day management priorities," Ariane Chapelle, the source's contributor, wrote. "Similarly, institutions that are not forced into scenario analysis by regulatory requirements are tempted to exempt themselves from this process. Introducing the concept of management scenarios in an organization highlights the important of the role of scenarios for management purposes as well as for regulatory compliance."

Ultimately, businesses need to consider every possibility when it comes to their continuity strategizing. Scenario-based analysis can help prioritize and evaluate the greatest threats while making overall disaster recovery efforts more efficient for the long haul.