Proactive organizations are adept at identifying and promoting the need for internal change. As businesses, customers and environments evolve, what worked last week, last month or last year may no longer be the best fit for your organization.

Often, the individuals in the middle of the organization – those working with customers, vendor partners and peers – are in the best position to gather actionable intelligence to better align technology and company strategy, drive improvement, optimize efficiencies and seize new market opportunities.

Unfortunately, making a business case for new business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technology to key decision-makers is a sensitive and tedious process. Discomfort usually stems from anticipating the perception of your boss(es). Perhaps they recently hand-picked a solution and you fear the negative consequences of proposing an alternative, or maybe you’re looking to comply with a top-down culture.

How do you make the case to sell new BCDR technology to key decision-makers that may be resistant to change?

Our tips below will help you with some of the areas to consider and ways to alter the perceptions of leadership when they don’t believe that BCDR is important or relevant enough to organizational performance.

Define the Problem and What’s Causing It

Ask yourself “Why” several times to define the problem and understand the causes.

Our organization is at risk! We need a new BCDR solution.

Why?

We are unsure if we can meet the recovery objectives (RTO/RPO) as defined by our DR plan.

Why?

We cannot test recovery.

Why?

We don’t have the internal bandwidth to test.

Why?

We lack automation and our team is burdened by tactical, reactive tasks such as ongoing management and troubleshooting.

Why?

We are managing too many siloed components with limited integration between them.

Why?

Our environment and our needs change rapidly. We also failed to future-proof with our existing vendor, requiring us to deploy additional solutions.

Find a Solution

  • Don’t settle on your first idea. Come up with as many ideas as possible in 30-60 minutes.
  • Evaluate and select ideas worthy of further investigation.
  • Set up plans to test the validity of different ideas.

Be Prepared to Answer Tough Questions

Can your internal pitch answer the following:

  • How will this contribute to our organization’s mission?
  • How will this idea impact our team and/or colleagues?
  • What do we require for additional staff, budget or other resources?
  • What is the transition period for implementation like?
  • What roadblocks should we anticipate? How are we prepared to overcome them?

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Practice your pitch. Record yourself and play it back.

  • Try different paces and tonality. The way you use different aspects of your voice helps capture and hold the attention of your audience.
  • Pause after important sentences. This gives your audience a moment to digest what you’ve said. It also gives the speaker the appearance of being comfortable and in control.

Test Your Message

Practice your pitch with colleagues. Is your message clear and persuasive? Ask for feedback on the following:

  • Was the problem/opportunity clearly defined?
  • Were your colleagues sold on the idea?
  • Did you come off as professional, clear and confident?
  • Is the value to your organization conveyed in the pitch?

 

Build a Business Case for BCDR 

A business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution ensures the business operates as close to normal as possible after an unexpected interruption, with minimal loss of data. It is a critical part of any organization’s process to recover from disaster and resume routine operations. Disasters may range from serious weather events, power failure, employee negligence, hardware or software failure, or cyberattacks.

While IT professionals understand the value of a robust BCDR solution, top-level management may not share the same level of enthusiasm. In these situations, it’s important to translate complex technology into simple terms that resonate with decision-makers. Focus on demonstrating how the solution will benefit the organization and less so on how it works or what makes the technology a good fit.

Terms such as Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) come up increasingly in conversations within the C-Suite. Although they may not seem complex to an IT pro, arguments for improving these metrics can generally be boiled down to clearer concepts when they’re associated with facts and figures.

For example, a retailer transacts $50,000 per hour in online sales and your current provider offers you a four-hour RTO. In case there is a significant outage, the organization projects to lose $200,000 in revenue before systems are backed up and running (to say nothing of the risks of reputational damage and customer churn).

However, the new BCDR solution offers a one-hour RTO that would cost $100,000. As a result, the business will cut risk by 75% per incident, reducing the potential cost of an outage to $50,000 and achieving savings of $150,000 per DR event.

Ask yourself whether the proposed investment:

 

Finally, Ask for Feedback

Your closing should leave you in a strong position for affirmation from leadership. Ensure you restate the main message of your pitch. Summarize follow-up actions and ask for a timeline for a decision.

Make your boss feel as though they’re participating in the development of this idea. Thank them and ask for their input to improve clarity.

For example:

  • What would you need from my team for this to move forward?
  • How do you see this working for our organization?
  • What is your ideal outcome?
About Adam Marget

Adam is a Technical Specialist on the Unitrends marketing team supporting digital and in-market events. Over the last 4 years with Unitrends, he has been delighted at the opportunity to work with customers, prospects, and partners alike to help solve challenges around data protection and business continuity. Adam joined Unitrends in 2016, bringing with him experience working with variety of manufacturers’ technology from edge to core as a coworker from national IT solutions provider CDW.