Necessity as they say is the mother of invention. Business continuity planning sometimes needs some outside-the-box invention, especially in the case where a major functional component of an organisation becomes unavailable. This has been the case for a museum (Le Museon Arlaten) in the south of France, founded in 1899 with the mission of conserving records about the area known as “Provence”. An important part of the museum’s activities is also to organise concerts and shows that bring out traditional Provence performing arts using the large stock of artefacts and architectural remains in the museum’s possession. The BC planning challenge was simple – continuing to draw and satisfy a public for the next three years, during which time there will be no museum… (more…)
Archive for the ‘Business Continuity Plan’ Category
At the risk of labouring a point, here’s some further information on a particular business continuity good practice guideline – that of understanding where to look for the most likely threat. A survey from the Neverfail Group, a systems software vendor, earlier this year indicates that that the real danger to business continuity is from isolated hardware and software failures, rather than earthquakes, floods and nuclear accidents. What was striking about the survey was the discrepancy between what companies spent their time preparing for, and what in fact really impacted their business continuity. (more…)
From time to time, it’s instructive to look around and see what organisations are doing with business continuity. With business continuity management now an increasingly important part of good business practice, business schools are led to include this in their courses, and hopefully practise what they preach. A visit to the website of the London School of Economics shows that the LSE has defined plans and procedures in this area, although it also leaves one question open.
Henry Ford would have appreciated the Wiley publishing company’s approach to business continuity management. In keeping with the rest of its “For Dummies” books, Wiley will (September 2012) be bringing out the “Business Continuity for Dummies” edition, mass-produced BCM in something of a one-size-fits-all approach. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – BCM deserves a wider audience and popularising some of its principles and techniques can be a good way to raise people’s levels of awareness at all levels of an organisation. The open question is whether or not people will “internalise” business continuity any more after they’ve read the book compared to before.
If you’ve picked a business continuity plan template for your organisation and you want the various departments to use it, your sales skills or charm may impress your colleagues at the start. But how do you ensure that their enthusiasm won’t totally evaporate afterwards, when you’re back at your desk, and they’re back at theirs – staring at a blank form? Ideally, looking at the template would bring the same surge of eagerness as before. If it can’t do that, then it should do as little as possible to dampen it. How? Believe it or not, government tax forms may hold the key.
Innovation in business continuity doesn’t always have to be technological, as one award-winning approach to a business continuity plan has shown. Sometimes the real innovation is simply in the point of view – the “how” of business continuity, instead of the “what”. That was what the New South Wales Police Force revolutionized to win the Australian Business Award for Innovation in 2008, winning organisations being “those that display exceptional leadership in their industry, and are role models for other organisations seeking business and product excellence”. A BC framework is essential to a police force as an emergency service; what is unique about the one used by the NSW Police Force is that instead of being driven by incidents, it is determined by consequences. (more…)
Making the business case for business continuity is an area that companies struggle with. Whereas fires and explosions can have people’s imaginations working feverishly, when a little time goes by and they don’t happen, they get relegated to a “to do” list that might get done by the IT department, but not by others. (more…)
Even businesses that compete in the same market may be very different in structure and operations. For a generic approach, business continuity best practice is available in any number of books or training courses, but best practice for the detail of what goes into your plan may be harder to come by.
What makes small businesses different to bigger ones when it comes to business continuity? Common risks for small businesses are linked to their operations being confined to one specific sector and one geographical location. They don’t have the possibilities of mitigation available to larger, more diverse, distributed companies. Disaster can strike all of their resources at once. Accordingly, larger customers often scrutinise their small company suppliers to see whether they have an effective business continuity strategy in place. (more…)
If the city where your business runs is hosting the Olympic Games or similar, then you’ll be facing a one-off exceptional event. As such, you may need to take exceptional measures in order to ensure business continuity. For events of this magnitude, organisers or municipal agencies often produce continuity guidelines to help avoid the worst and maintain business continuity. (more…)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sure, people in an organisation want business to go on successfully. Their jobs, families and futures depend on it. If you ask them what would happen if systems suddenly crashed, if access to their workspace was blocked, they’ll probably agree it would be a disaster.
Recent natural disasters have spurred warnings to forgo a reactive approach to governance.
In this Computerworld article, HopgoodGanim’s IT lawyers are reminded of the importance of prioritising ICT governance and business continuity to minimise risk to the business, in the wake of the recent natural disasters plaguing the nation and indeed the world.
The disasters in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia have put BCP into sharp focus.
In this article, Allan Davies provides advice he gleaned the hard way from working through numerous disasters, and suggests that CIO’s need to think in broader terms than just IT disaster recovery. He outlines nine valuable lessons that should be incorporated into everyones disaster recovery plan.
It is not enough just to look at the resilience strategies for within your organization, the entire supply chain needs to be considered for your critical business functions.
Are you reliant on a single supplier for any key products or services?
If you have alternate suppliers, are they geographically separate or in other ways diverse from your primary supplier? If your primary supplier was affected by a problem, how likely is it this backup supplier would be too?
Can you build the requirement for these suppliers to have robust and verified business continuity in place for themselves into your supply agreements?
What are your workarounds and strategies if supply of these products or services were cut-off?
All of these questions should be examined as part of a robust business impact analysis of your critical business functions. Having a BCP is more than just a tick in the box for your audit report. It is about having confidence in your organization’s resilience. What a great selling feature for your clients, if you can confidently state you’ve got a mature and resilient organization that will stay in operation when others may fail!