Monthly Archives: August 2015

Business Continuity As A Career? Really?

Yes, really! For a lot of good reasons, some of which I’ll discuss here. I admit I fell into it quite accidently. I was an honest programmer once, coding away in Assembly Language and COBOL in my youth. But the bank where I was working needed some information security programming done, then a security administrator for the Money Transfer and Wire department, and before I knew it I got moved uptown and became one of the first CISO’s in the country. Along the way, they told me there was this thing called business continuity and disaster recovery and it was going to report to me, too, so I’d better get up to speed on that as well. In that way, I was fortunate to participate in the evolution of a discipline that grew from just getting the lights to blink at the recovery center to addressing recovery needs for the business units across the globe. It’s been a great ride and here is why I think business continuity (BC) makes for a potentially great career.

You can see forever from here. The view from a cubicle in most departments is limited to only a small part of the overall business a corporation conducts. You’ll get an in depth familiarity with that department’s business, but that’s all. Whereas, working in BC will expose you to everything the corporation does: all the business processes in every department, the assets, technology, locations, future plans, etc. It’s a stepladder in the cubicle farm!

You meet the nicest people. Working in BC you will come in close contact with all the decision makers in the company. You’ll have regular interaction with department managers, middle management, and senior managers from across the corporation, many of whom you would never even have a conversation with at a company picnic. In your exposure to them you’ll learn their priorities, their vision, their management style, etc. You’ll also get a seat at the table for crisis management as they enact the plans you have developed. You’ll have a chance to shine in arenas you’d never be invited to otherwise, which can only help your career.

You get to do important work. Enlightened corporations and management recognize the essential part business continuity plays in ensuring the availability of technology, telecommunications, facilities, and staff resources in order to continue mission critical activities. The role you play in analyzing business and technical recovery requirements, creating workable plans for recovery from unexpected outages, and testing recovery capabilities can be the difference between full recovery and huge potential losses. That’s pretty important stuff!

You can qualify for professional certification. Years ago I got a phone call from an important figure in the field offering me a chance to have my certification grandfathered in for a mere $1,000. I declined because I thought the certification wasn’t worth the paper it was written on (and I didn’t have a spare $1,000). But all that has changed over the years to the point where the certification process is both professional and valuable. The testing process and in-field work experience required now represent a mark of achievement and has gained recognition as the distinction of a highly qualified professional in an exacting discipline. I’m proud to have the CBCP after my name. (On a side note, I once had a translator in Mexico City who had PDG after his name on his business card. I asked him what that meant and he said, “Oh, I gave myself that and nobody ever asks what it means. It stands for Pretty Damned Good”, but he wasn’t and I fired him after two days.)

You get to put your thinking cap on. Solving the problems of providing sufficient recovery capabilities that meet the business requirements in the timeframes needed at the lowest possible cost is a daunting challenge. New technologies, changing business requirements, new recovery vehicles (like cloud computing), and changing priorities will always present new obstacles to overcome. Succeeding in managing these well will keep the juices flowing.

Conclusion. Even if your neighbors don’t understand what the heck you do for a living, you’ll know it’s challenging, ever changing, and important. As always, leave me comments or contact me directly.  Enjoy BC and have some fun out there!

© Copyright and All Rights Reserved Howard M. Peace