Events Threatening Business Disruption Will Happen…What Are We Going to Do About It?

Having the correct business continuity methodology for your organization can be a key element of survival for many organizations. Getting a complete buy-in and support from upper management is critical to any business continuity plan’s success.  Often, the only real test for that plan is the organization’s ability to survive through an actual business disruption event and in surviving, to be able to resume delivery of your organization’s services and/or products at a level acceptable to your customer.  But, getting to that point takes a lot of work by everyone in the organization.  However, the more quickly you can identify how you will react to the consequences of a disaster, then the better chances you will have to keep your employees safe and your customers satisfied after that disaster.   A suggestion for making that process more efficient would be to spend less time on assumptions and what-if causal scenarios for potential disasters.  You really need to get down to the planning stages of actions to be taken when your organization faces a business disrupting event.   While it is sometimes necessary to build disaster recovery or crisis management scenarios, all too often many organizations worry too much about the cause(s) of a disaster rather than simply making the assumption that disruptions will occur and then figuring how your organization will deal with the consequences of those disruption scenarios.

Business Continuity Systems

More companies are talking about business continuity systems today.  While it is a good thing for them to have this awareness, it is often an awareness that is not yet unified both in general terms and more importantly in terms of everyone having the same meaning of those terms.  There is a need to bring consensus on the meaning of the phrase “business continuity system” before any real business continuity plan can ever be implemented into any organization.  Defining your terms and then getting a buy-in from everyone on that definition remains the most consistent cause of lack of communication within an organization.  In this case, many organizations think of business continuity as goal of a disaster recovery plan.  Since the word “system” is part of the phrase, many organizations believe that IT takes a lead role in this organizational goal.  Then, other organizations fail to recognize that it is a key responsibility of top management and directors to ensure the continuation of its business operations at all times.  Most surveys today indicate that more business continuity systems and plans succeed whenever top management and not just the IT department are involved in recognizing the unique requirements of any organization, then developing, implementing, reviewing and continually improving that plan for that organization.

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