Integrating continuity and risk management

Published on
April 22, 2013

Risk management (RM) and business continuity management (BCM) have seen significant improvement in national and international standards, and evolving practice guidelines.

The attention to BCM has evolved markedly, however, many organisations still find implementation of an effective BCM system confronting and confusing.

Continuity Insights and KPMG LLP’s Global Business Continuity Management Program Benchmarking Study 2011–2012 identified that only 52 per cent of companies surveyed believe their BCM program is well integrated with their enterprise risk management program. Yet the benefits of integration are numerous and significant.

When integrated effectively, RM and BCM systems enhance business performance and shareholder value by generating the central risk/reward decision support tools at each level of the organisation. This provides:

  • More effective and resilient programs
  • Better informed strategic and tactical operational and investment decisions
  • A more agile operational culture
  • BCM outcomes that are characterised by objectivity, relevance, alignment, and focused on disruption threats.

However, what is still missing from the standards and industry guidelines is how business can effectively integrate BCM into its RM system.

Through Rowland’s work with clients in a range of sectors, both nationally and internationally, we have identified four traits that indicate an organisation is integrating its risk and continuity management programs consistently and effectively:

  1. There are established links between consequence assessment and disruption impacts – delivering objectivity.
  2. Threats are examined from an outcome view (i.e. what the organisation delivers), not the business structure – delivering relevance.
  3. They use Business Impact Analysis to drive risk assessment prioritisation – delivering alignment.
  4. They recognise the distinction between disruption and acute consequence, and focus BCM on disruption – delivering focus.

To learn more about how to effectively integrate risk management and business community management systems in your organisation, contact Al Armstrong, Senior Group Manager Risk Services on (07) 3229 4499 or

Image: Al Armstrong (right) with business continuity project team members at RMIT Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City.