--> Gill Blog: Business Continuity in Banking vs. Retail

Gill Blog

Monday, May 03, 2010

Business Continuity in Banking vs. Retail

For the most part, I've been an inactive blogger since taking a business continuity job with a large bank in 2006. Well, I just moved things along this past month, as I now moved to one of the country's largest retailers as one of the guys charged with developing an end to end business continuity program in that organization.

Interesting comparisons and contrasts between financial services and retail. By their very nature, banks are charged with the fiduciary duty of safeguarding their customer's assets, and this is the main driver of comprehensive risk management programs (business continuity now resides under this umbrella). Because of this, the programs tend to be some of the most rigorous in any given sector. But really, what is actually being safeguarded? For the most part it's all about adding a resiliency layer to the electronic movement of funds - clearing and settlement, it's called.

Now, think about what is being protected in a retail environment, especially for a big box retailer that provides a wide assortment of goods. Products are sourced from around the world using elaborate just in time delivery systems. The supply chain complexities involved in the global distribution of goods is mind boggling. Domestically, the corporation needs to create resiliency around its franchisee program. and create business continuity standards for its corporate operations. None of this has a regulatory body that provides oversight, so everything is driven purely by market forces.

In other words, if any significant disruption were to negatively impact operations for an extended period, it could have serious impacts on brand reputation.

If I can actually get myself to get back into the practice of blogging, I'll elaborate more. Feels nice to tap out a few lines again!


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