Business Continuity and Contingency Planning: Intangible Assets and IP

Michael D. Moberly    July 23, 2008

It’s all about sustaining competitive advantages, revenue streams, relationship capital, brand integrity, and value during and following significant disruptions or catastrophic events a business and/or company is likely to experience at some point.

When 75+% of a companies’ value, sources of revenue, and future wealth creation lie in intangible assets and intellectual property it’s absolutely essential that business continuity-contingency plans today, fully incorporate-reflect those assets.

Which intangibles, IP, know how, and competitive advantages represent the keys?, well, they’re those assets that are ‘mission critical’ (essential) to achieving a speedy, efficient, complete, and uncontested recovery.  When most companies analyze their ‘mission critical’ assets, even though they may perceive themselves as being a ‘business dominated by a single asset’, they often learn there are multiple collaborative, intertwined, and complimentary assets that are embedded in various processes or activities that assume heretofore overlooked importance and relevance.

Key objectives of a well conceived and forward looking business continuity-contingency plan are to have the appropriate processes, procedures, technologies, and intellectual capital in place to sustain (protect, preserve):

a. control, use, ownership, and value of those assets necessary to achieve

b. a prompt recovery, i.e., revenue streams, relationship capital, image, goodwill, and brand integrity, etc., including

c. proprietary status – trade secrecy requisites of key know how

d. to drive the recovery.

It’s especially important for business continuity-contingency planners themselves, to recognize and address countermeasures (in the plan) regarding the persistent probability and asymmetric activities that competitors’ and adversaries’ globally can, and with increasing frequency will, engage to exploit (take advantage of) a distruption and/or catastrophic event to cause additional economic hemorrhaging (to the victim company) e.g.

a. undermine (erode) any existing competitive advantages

b. stifle the companies’ momentum

c. engage in misappropriation, infringement, counterfeiting

This is why business continuity-contingency planning for intangible assets and intellectual property is so essential today and must reach well beyond conventional gaming scenarios!

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