Business continuity and risk mitigation are at the forefront of every executive's mind. While many businesses will be rallying to react and survive in these uncertain times, much of the operational impact will be because of key person dependency or systems reliability under pressure.
Our clients are asking us to be ready to help them when they need us most, in times of emergency and when uptime is critical to them. It's now more important than ever to have the uninterrupted performance of critical finance and analytics systems.
Typical Business Continuity Finance Systems Challenges:
Our research shows that finance, accounting and analyst teams typically have several single-point-of-failure vulnerabilities in their finance systems. This brittleness makes them particularly sensitive to interruptions caused by unexpected disasters, team capacity issues and rapid spikes in demand for input from the finance team.
- Finance applications frequently require periodic maintenance and updating.
- There are often recurring activities that need to be completed on a scheduled basis, whether daily, weekly, or monthly.
- Key finance processes can have several manual steps, especially loading spreadsheet files and other data sources required for month-end close, or forecasting purposes.
- Business rules and drivers can change over time and workarounds have been implemented because business rules, or drive documentation is obsolete.
- The original system design no longer reflects how the business currently operates, and there is a significant manual activity in spreadsheets. System documentation and operational run- books are obsolete and are no longer reliable when they are most needed.
- Essential maintenance of the system that will help to maintain its performance are neglected over time, and the application is not operating optimally.
- Application performance is an especially critical concern when speed is vital for fast decision making.
- The steps to ensure rapid back-up and fast disaster recovery aren't entirely in place, and there is a risk, that when needed most, the finance systems won't be operational as quickly as required.
Q.protect Process Protection Plans
To help mitigate these risks, we designed the Q.protect service, which can be mobilized rapidly to respond to an immediate system challenge or team availability difficulties. One path forward that we would recommend as a sensible step to increase resilience now is to look at the Q.protect essentials steps, which include:
- Perform a review of current systems documentation and publish enhancement documentation, such as Q.protect Run-Books
- Complete a Knowledge Transfer process to Qubix Managed Services team for just-in-case support
- Complete a process continuity assessment & recommendations
- Perform a key people risk scoring & response plan
It's clear from our discussions with clients the steps that should be taken to ensure a business continuity plan is in place across core finance systems and roles, isn't always what it should be.
Some of today's unique challenges may be highlighting this at a time when there are higher priorities. Still, while many businesses are operating in a crisis setting, this is probably an opportune time to at least have the conversation about finance systems risk and key people dependencies.
To find out more about Q.protect services click here.
To find out more about Qubix Managed Services click here.
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