One of the challenges involved in establishing a strong business continuity management system can be the perception that if all goes well, spending on such a system can possibly be avoided. In recent years, this perception has become a dominant factor in the decision of some companies to overlook the need for improved business continuity plans and software. This is not difficult to understand once one considers the overall economic outlook of the United States. In times of plenty, it is much easier for organizations to feel comfortable allocating spending on fail-safes that may never be needed. Making those same spending decisions during tight economic times is much more difficult.
Ironically, however, business continuity is more important than ever before precisely because the current economic climate has led many SMBs to undertake strategic decisions that have vast potential to interrupt their business operations. Long supply chains are an example of just one such decision. Such decisions produce gains that can be quickly realized, adding to the bottom line, but they add management complexity that can interfere with the ability of the business to operate on a continuous basis.
For best results, new ways of doing business should be accompanied by the extensive use of the experience and resources to be had through IT consulting. IT companies providing consulting services can help businesses both small and large to think ‘outside the box’ about their current operations and ways to use technology to improve them. Just as importantly, an IT consultant can help an SMB to build in systems, procedures, and policies that will help to protect business continuity even as a major change is implemented.
Using IT consulting has another strong benefit in these situations. An IT consulting firm can often devise ways to test systems in advance so that a suggested change can be analyzed and evaluated in far more detail before a final determination as to its advisability is made. A variety of testing paradigms can be useful to help companies improve their eventual outcomes and their business continuity prospects during times of change. These include not just simulations, but also stress testing, horizon scanning, and sandboxing.
Change can be a challenging thing for businesses as well as individuals, but with the robust use of IT consulting to become better informed and prepared, SMBs can help to ensure that the changes they must contemplate to meet current economic trends can be accomplished with a minimum of disruption to the business.