COVID-19 advances business continuity planning to a data science, says GlobalData

Traditional business continuity planning (BCP) has shifted away from an era of subjectivity and ‘trial and error’ to one that is driven by the science of data and machine learning algorithms. In this new system, risks will be more accurately identified, scored, weighted and mapped to a known vulnerability in near real-time. Processes will be automated, connect and flow through to all areas of the business to improve overall business continuity management (ISO 22301), says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Dustin Kehoe, Service Director at GlobalData, comments: “Technology will increasingly play a bigger role in BCP relative to strategic plans, tactical and operational processes. Strategic imperatives could consider ways to use tools to auto-configure infrastructure to reflect recover time and recovery point objectives (RTO/RPO). The tactical will consider ways to make home working more enjoyable without compromising security while the operational is likely to focus on policies such as AUP and security awareness training. The end goal is to find the best path that promotes business resiliency and minimizes downtime.”

COVID-19 is teaching us that not all organizations had a BCP plan or that they took it too seriously. Even the companies that had a BCP did not ever factor in pandemics and other unthinkable scenarios. This new reality will promote strategic thinking in operational resiliency. Systems will need to be more robust, agile, data-driven and less dependent on human support.

BCP will now accelerate the investment in new technologies such as AR/VR, to transform customer support functions from the frontline. They will be matched with IoT-enabled predictive maintenance where connected sensors feed into back-end remote infrastructure management systems. The ultimate goal is to improve business continuity management and operational efficiency through better visibility, command and control over all connected infrastructure.

Kehoe concludes: “COVID-19 has changed the digital transformation objectives for many businesses. The majority are focusing on the immediate tactical issues associated with the keeping the ‘lights on’ during a lockdown. But the longer-term trend is embracing flexible working and using automation to counterbalance the growing realization of IT leaders that COVID-19 has changed business forever.”

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