Ok, I know I am stepping into contentious waters here – and there will be opposing sides and various viewpoints on this topic – but I was never one to shy away from constructive dialog even if controversial.

For those of you that started back in the day when there were no PC’s, room sized computers with 64K of memory, and of course IBM punch cards, you will know technology has changed dramatically over the decades. My first financial services recovery was in 1979. Yep, you can do the math.

Technology maturity is accelerating at a fast pace. With that maturity, many underlying professions came rising with it. Disaster recovery transitioned into business continuity to resiliency. Niches rose from this maturity: crisis management, business continuity, operational risks, outsourcing, vendor management, increased audit oversight with a specific focus on technology, geographical risks, political risks, and the list goes on and on.

With each iteration of maturity, professions changed, matured. Now it’s business continuity’s turn.

ChatGPT has pulled back the curtain on the business continuity world. Business continuity, with all its regulations and oversight bodies still remains a somewhat subjective profession. Although regulations abound, each company has a unique way of creating its programs. Typically, a new business continuity professional going into a company assesses the previously program for gaps and completeness in a substantive way. Many times, once an assessment is completed, you can almost gauge the background and experience of the previous person holding that position. Modifications are made, gaps are filled, based on the limited understanding of business continuity as a whole.

ChatGPT has uncovered the core of the foundational components of business continuity and all the ancillary components, a documented blueprint that could establish an excellent starting point. When looking for a baseline approach to the building of a complete program, there are many avenues one can go down with tentacles reaching far and wide.

Try entering some of these topics below into ChatGPT and see the results. Here are a few of the ones I tried. Drilling down on each of the results you can see how a complete program can be built. It can be specific to one industry, cross referencing various industry and regulatory guidelines. In my results I used FFIEC, ISO, and NIMS, just to get a cross pollination in my results.

  1. Build the overall components for a business continuity program that combines FFIEC and ISO standards for business continuity.
  2. Provide the details needed for a business impact analysis for an international company using FFIEC guidelines.
  3. How do I approach gathering information for a business impact analysis.
  4. Develop questionnaires and interview guides for a business impact analysis.
  5. Develop a crisis management plan that uses NIMS guidelines.

I could go on and on drilling down into the depths of business continuity in any direction and come up with viable, “well thought out” foundational program components that would suffice for any audit and, more importantly, be executable during an actual event. Taking the output from one ChatGPT and asking additional questions relating to the content, provides droves of additional components that can be expanded upon.

All of you folks ready to respond as to why this isn’t viable, I get it. Not everything can be done through ChatGPT, not even close to the “boots on the ground” work needed to implement a complete program. What ChatGPT doesn’t capture is the messaging, integration, and socializing that needs to happen in each company to bring all parties to not only the comprehension of business continuity, but the steps to execute both in building and what is needed to recovery from an event.

Don’t ignore ChatGPT. Once you ask the questions and assess the results, you will agree, the foundational components, outlines, and details, are very accurate. Yes, the data and content are very subjective on a company-by-company basis, but the accuracy of ChatGPT is amazing. There are many opinions on ChatGPT, but don’t discount it as being a tool to help you build your program or make enhancements. We can use all this “value added” tool we can get in furthering our programs.


Lawrence Robert

Lawrence Robert, CBCP, CBCLA, is a highly experienced business continuity professional with more than 40 years of experience in domestic and international business continuity. He has an extensive background in designing, implementing, and managing business continuity programs for large multinational corporations. Over the years, Robert has worked for a variety of companies, both large and small, in a range of industries including finance, healthcare, government, and aerospace and defense. Throughout his career, Robert has demonstrated a passion for helping organizations prepare for and respond to major disruptions. He is a trusted advisor to his clients and a respected leader in the field of business continuity and crisis management.

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