The Case for Business Continuity Management

By Krell, Eric | Business Finance, April 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Case for Business Continuity Management

Krell, Eric, Business Finance

Globalization, regulatory mandates, and recent natural and man-made disasters have pushed BCM into the C-suite and the boardroom.

The debate over whether business continuity management (BCM) is an IT issue or a finance issue is moot: It's both, and then some. True, the discipline grew out of IT's disaster recovery practices, but today BCM is clearly an overarching business concern - and an increasingly critical one. * Prompted by a rising tide of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and less newsworthy but equally expensive power outages, regulatory bodies and corporate boards are pressing executive teams to expand and strengthen their organization's resiliency. As a result, more and more finance functions are assuming ownership of enterprise BCM strategies. Regardless of whether finance owns those capabilities, though, CFOs should carefully measure the cost of continuity and determine the level of risk their company is willing to assume. To do so, they must understand the discipline's drivers, investigate emerging BCM frameworks and review their organization's options for fortifying its BCM activities.

Reality Check

Bill Teuber brings a unique perspective to BCM. He's CFO and executive vice president of EMC Corp., a Hopkinton, Mass.-based provider of products and services for information storage and management. Teuber and his staff play a key role in managing the company's continuity practices. And Teuber also keeps tabs on customers' BCM capabilities, which EMC's products support.

"With business continuity, there is a gap between expectations and reality," says Teuber. "I've seen that here, in other companies and in surveys." A widely circulated 2003 survey conducted by EMC with RoperASW crystallized that disparity. Fifty-two percent of surveyed IT executives in U.S. companies reported that their organization's critical data would be "very vulnerable" in the event of a business interruption. However, only 14 percent of surveyed business executives - who worked in the same companies as the IT people - shared that view.

The survey also examined respondents' estimates of the time their organization would need to resume normal business operations after an interruption, a measure referred to in BCM parlance as the recovery time objective (RTO) or recovery point objective (RPO). The business executives' estimate was three days shorter than that of the IT executives.

Fortunately, the expectation gap has narrowed somewhat, according to a comparable 2004 survey by EMC, and it continues to close, BCM experts report.

Teuber has been methodically driving convergence between BCM perceptions and reality for several years now at EMC. "We went around the organization identifying what the business thinks they have in terms of a business continuity management requirement and then compared that to what they actually had," he says. "There was a disparity."

He adds that it's "incumbent on the business in the collective sense, on the operation side and the service side," to ensure that there is agreement on the appropriate level of BCM support for key processes and IT systems and on whether that support exists and is kept current. That requires prioritization at the highest levels of the company. Corporate leaders must ask: What are our most important processes? What human and technical resources support them? How long can we afford for those processes to be offline?

A Regulatory Flood

At many organizations, those questions have yet to be raised in the right quarters. "BCM has moved out of the corner of the computer room, but it hasn't " cascaded throughout the entire organization yet," notes Peter Maloney, CFO of Snocap, a San Francisco-based provider of digital licensing and copyright management services for the digital music marketplace. But he notes that "awareness is rising all the way up to the audit committee in the boardroom."

The forces nudging BCM concerns upward include globalization, the increasing frequency and impact of natural and man-made disasters, and the growing complexity of the compliance environment.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

The Case for Business Continuity Management


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.