What is Business Continuity Management?
Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a framework and process for identifying and addressing risks to an organization’s business operations, ensuring business continuity during disruptions, and facilitating recovery afterward. ISO 22301 is an international standard that specifies requirements for a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) to help organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive events.
What is ServiceNow BCM?
ServiceNow BCM provides tools to identify and assess potential risks, and analyze the potential impact of those risks on critical business assets including people, business services, processes, capabilities, business/IT applications, business/IT data, infrastructures, vendors, and partners; develop plans and procedures to ensure that those assets are available, and the business can continue to operate in the event of a disruption.
ServiceNow BCM also enables organizations to manage and track their BCM program and activities, conduct testing and training exercises, and communicate with stakeholders during a disruption. Overall, ServiceNow BCM helps organizations improve their resilience and ability to respond to unexpected events, ensuring business continuity and minimizing the impact of disruptions on operations.
Why BCM and ServiceNow BCM?
ServiceNow BCM is part of the ServiceNow Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) suite of applications, which has been named a leader by Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave, please see the post, Business Benefits and Adoption of ServiceNow GRC for more details. They are essential for organizations for several reasons:
It can provide a structured approach to identifying potential risks, assessing their impact on critical business services and processes, and developing plans and procedures to ensure those business services and processes can continue to operate during a disruption.
ServiceNow BCM enables organizations to automate and streamline their BCM processes, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of errors or omissions.
By improving their ability to respond to disruptions, organizations can make sure the people are safe, minimize the impact on their operations and customers, reducing the risk of financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liability.
In addition to these practical benefits, implementing a BCM program can help organizations meet regulatory requirements, demonstrate their commitment to risk management and corporate responsibility, and build stakeholder trust.
ServiceNow BCM Process Overview
ServiceNow BCM process consists of several key stages:
Setting up Libraries:
A set of basic configurations need to be set up to establish the dependency mapping and to build templates for the subsequent BCM stages, such as BIA and Plan.
- Element Definitions (sample*):
- Business processes IT assets
- Impact categories and Ratings
- Recovery Timeframes and Tiers
- Documentation sections
Note that the configurations have to be tailored to your company’s culture, languages used, and way of doing business and communicating.
Business Impact Analysis (BIA):
The BIA component helps organizations understand the potential impact of those risks on their critical business processes and functions, including financial, operational, reputational, and regulatory impacts. The impacts entered to determine the criticality tier rating, Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). BIA maps dependencies to the applications, locations, and vendors required for the business process to be carried out successfully.
BCP/DR Planning and Response:
This component involves using the process, asset, vendor libraries, and the business impact analysis as input, creating the business continuity plans for departments covering the critical business processes, and making the disaster recovery plans for critical IT assets. The plans can be created based on the configured plan templates, including:
- BCP – Business continuity plans / Business Processes
- DRP – Disaster Recovery plans / IT assets
- Created from the pre-defined and stored templates.
- Loss Scenarios (Applications, Facilities, Workforce, etc.).
- Recovery strategies
- Recovery teams and tasks
On selecting the template, the document structure and the default content are loaded which can be edited to create tailored content for different departments. Planners can add recovery tasks along with details of assets they’re tagged to, owners of the tasks, and dependencies of the tasks.
Plan Exercising and Training:
This component involves exercising the plans to be at a high level of assurance having updated business continuity strategy and plan in place; ensuring the employees are rehearsed with the business continuity plan and know what needs to be done during a crisis; track the assets that were recovered within the planned RTOs and the ones that couldn’t meet the RTOs.
- Plan exercises can be planned, executed, monitored, and documented.
- Observations/lessons learned are recorded to make any course corrections in the plan or execution of the plan.
- Continual process improvement
This component is used to report crisis events and activate the relevant plans, track the recovery activities during the crisis, track the assets recovered, and if the recovery occurred within established RTOs. Managers can track task execution during events in a predefined order in a plan. They can also open individual tasks to override a plan sequence.
Reporting and Compliance:
This component involves tracking and reporting on BCM program activities and ensuring compliance with relevant policies, regulations, and standards, such as ISO 22301 and HIPAA.
Overall, these components work together to help organizations improve their resilience and ability to respond to unexpected events, ensuring business continuity and minimizing the impact of disruptions on business operations.
Adoption of ServiceNow BCM
Use the steps in the following BCM application checklist to download the Business Continuity Management from the ServiceNow Store, and all the way to get it ready for operation.
The flow of implementation steps is illustrated here. Please see ServiceNow BCM documentation for more details – Business Continuity Management implementation.
Perficient + ServiceNow
We are a top-tier digital transformation consulting firm with extensive experience in automation platforms and process implementation. As a ServiceNow Premier Partner, we utilize the Global Solution Framework to provide value-added services to our client’s most significant business challenges. Our industry expertise spans healthcare modernization to financial services transformation, and our global team of experts is highly proficient in ServiceNow’s enterprise capabilities, providing advantages to HR, CSM, PMO, IT, and other operational teams within businesses.