Why you Shouldn’t Ignore the “D” Word
Know what causes downtime in order to overcome it.
Failure is not an option. That phrase has been invoked by many strong leaders as they embark on a critical mission or project with an unwavering resolve to succeed. We hear a similar resolve expressed by leaders of organizations when we ask them a fundamental preparedness question, “How much downtime can you tolerate?” The initial response is often, “None!” or “Downtime is not an option.” A perfectly understandable response, right? Sure, but as a basis for planning, potential pitfalls abound.
To become a truly resilient organization, one that knows its greatest vulnerabilities and plans and prepares accordingly, a clear understanding of downtime is required. Most organizations know they must limit downtime in order to serve their customers and succeed in their mission. Our experience has been that leaders of organizations lack the understanding of what types of downtime to consider, and the true impacts of downtime of each on their organization. Fortunately, experienced business continuity planners offer proven processes to do just that.
The most common and impactful types of downtime for organizations include:
- IT downtime
- People and productivity downtime
- Communications downtime
- Utilities downtime
- Operational downtime
- Facilities downtime
Organizations typically spend most of their time and money addressing the top of this list, IT downtime, without considering the other types of downtime and their impacts on product/service delivery and reputation. Resiliency requires this broad understanding of the impacts of downtime across all components of an organization and its operations.
Develop downtime tolerances with a simple exercise.
To help your organization understand its unique set of downtime tolerances, work with your colleagues to assess downtime tolerances for the list above and the impacts that each would have on your organization. How does this broader understanding of downtime alter your perception of how much downtime you can afford?
Resilient organizations develop multiple downtime tolerances for their critical functions, resulting in accurate prioritization, effective planning and resource allocation, and orderly focus of recovery efforts following a disruption event. Skipping this critical step means that your organization may either underestimate or overspend on a solution that does not adequately address your true vulnerabilities.
RESOLVE TODAY: Take the first steps to ensure that failure does not become an option for your organization. Work through this simple process with your colleagues, and please call on us if you need assistance!
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