Budgeting for Your Business Continuity Management Program
Date: Wednesday, December 08 @ 17:09:16 PST
Topic:



Budgeting for Your Business Continuity Management Program


Business continuity planning is not a trivial process. Efficiently managing the process of developing, maintaining and exercising your plans, and adequately training your personnel, will require top-level management support and an approved and funded budget. Management must allocate sufficient funds to insure a successful program. Just some of the expenses that must be considered and included in the budget are:.

Alternate Sites: Monthly subscription fees and recovery activation fees for alternative sites, including computer hot-sites, warm-sites, cold-sites and business unit workgroup recovery sites or mobile solutions.

Off-Site Storage Sites: The cost for maintaining off-site facilities for storing critical records and emergency supplies that will be required for recovery. Also, off-site data storage and/or electronic vaulting services should be considered.

Telecommunications Recovery Network: The cost of establishing or maintaining recovery telecommunication networks.

Testing: The cost of testing business recovery plans, which includes the cost of alternate site tests, personnel, equipment usage, supplies, transportation, lodging and meals, special materials, and fees for off-hour access to critical records stored at any off-site locations.

Software: The on-going subscription fees, license costs and/or maintenance fees for business continuity related software, such as planning tools, emergency notification services and incident management software. Any special hardware needs for these tools and services will need to be included in these costs.

Training: The cost of providing employee training on the recovery plans, awareness training and training for recovery team members on the above-mentioned products.

Training Seminars, and Conferences for BCM Education: Since business recovery planning and recovery management expertise is essential to the organization, funds must be allocated to ensure that the business continuity coordinators and key planners are familiar with the latest business recovery planning methods and tools. The business continuity coordinator(s) should attend one or more business continuity planning training sessions, and should be certified as a qualified business continuity professional. The budget should include funding for at least one business continuity coordinators to attend one business recovery planning conference or seminar each year. Funding should also include membership fees to local business continuity groups and associations. Note: In addition to allocating funds for the business continuity coordinator and an alternate business continuity coordinator, enterprise-wide planning may also require funding for training administrative or support staff.

Business Continuity Planning Consulting Services: Development of enterprise-wide business recovery plans is a lengthy and complicated process. If the business continuity coordinator(s) has not had previous recovery planning experience, the process of recovery planning may suffer. Experienced consulting firms can provide training and guidance to the business continuity coordinator(s). If development of plans, or modification of out-of-date plans is a high priority project, and the organization's employees do not have sufficient time to devote to the business continuity planning process, the plans will not be completed in a timely manner. Even if you have a staff of experienced planners, the benefit of having your program and plans reviewed by external experts will easily outweigh the costs of such services. Allocating budget funds for experienced business continuity consulting services should be considered.

Although the above list is not all inclusive, it will provide a good start to assuring that all aspects of your business continuity management program are covered and funded. In conclusion, your business continuity management program should not just be thought of as an optional business expense, but as a necessary and mandatory cost of doing business.

By Ken Bauman







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