White Paper Abstract
Mission Critical vs. Critical Mission Thinking: An Enterprise-Oriented Methodology
An organization’s board of directors and its senior executives has always been entrusted with significant responsibilities. Traditional responsibilities include setting policy and strategic direction, achieving acceptable operating results, overseeing organizational development, protecting shareholder and other stakeholder interests, and ensuring compliance with applicable codes of conduct and standards of behavior.
The recent convergence of a number of factors has made the jobs of these “C-suite” leaders even more challenging. These factors include 1) compliance requirements with Sarbanes-Oxley as well as industry-specific requirements for improved operating controls and disclosures 2) court decisions which have found boards and senior executives personally accountable when controls fail and shareholder value is impaired; 3) increased reliance on digital systems and technologies to perform essential corporate missions, and the attendant cascading liabilities that may be caused due to downtime and security breaches in such systems; and 4) increased corporate vulnerabilities to risks due to the actions of external entities.
This white paper provides background information on the above factors and presents a unique framework to address these and other significant concerns. The concerns are addressed in a manner focusing upon the critical mission(s) of the organization, and are oriented toward generating operational improvements. The approach utilizes an orderly, three-phased process designed to ensure that:
- mission critical operations comprising the critical mission(s) of the enterprise are identified, evaluated and improved upon;
- the internal and external linkages, exposures and dependencies related to the organization’s customer service and supply chain are similarly addressed; and,
- the enterprise’s operating environment is examined to identify current and emerging business improvement opportunities and risk management issues.
Competitive advantage is an expected outcome of this process. Customers of all organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated when determining with whom they will deal. Many want to understand the security programs, reliability and operational controls of others upon whom they depend. They realize that any breakdowns in their own service/supply chains, whether from internal or external sources, may have resounding impacts upon others. Accordingly, the recommendations contained herein will not only help to mitigate risk and improve the organization that embraces them, but may improve the perception of that organization by its customers and others important to its success.