Business Continuity – A Key Consideration for 2014 and Beyond...
When disaster strikes is your organisation ready to respond? Natural disasters, fire, terrorism, corporate hacking, human error or political instability all threaten your organisation’s day-to-day operations.
Research by the Chartered Management Institute identified the biggest impacts of disruption to businesses as: reduced revenue; damage to reputation and lost new business opportunities. Did you know that nearly one in five businesses suffer a major disruption every year (BCI) Severe weather / restricted access, cyber security, fire, loss of utilities / fuel supply and loss of staff, are some of the incidents impacting on the resilience of UK businesses.
Preparing a contingency plan in case the worst were to happen is not a new concept. However, the events of the last few decades have led to organisations placing increasing importance on exactly what this plan should consist of to ensure that business continues in the event of many disasters, natural, human error or otherwise.
A standard approach
Business Continuity Management (BCM) involves the recovery or continuation of business activities in the event of any business disruption, helping to identify risks to key activities. Even if an organisation has never experienced a serious incident, establishing a Business Continuity Management System, such as ISO 22301, the international standard that helps to manage risk, will provide and test the effectiveness of, a strategic framework to support and improve a businesses’ resilience to interruption.
ISO 22301 will provide a comprehensive set of controls based on BCM best practice. It defines the strategic and tactical capability of an organisation to plan for and respond to incidents and business operations at an acceptable pre-defined level.
Supply Chain Resilience
Disaster scenarios always seem like fiction – until they become fact ... and then the only reality is whether your organisation has an effective response strategy. Pre-planning and robust control systems allow you to identify and manage disruption to supply chains – not if, but when it happens.
You may think that organisations in the UK don’t suffer disruptions from events such as earthquakes and Tsunamis. However, research has shown that following the devastation caused by natural disasters in Japan in 2012, supply chains were disrupted for organisations headquartered in 18 countries and operating across 12 different business sectors. Therefore, your business impact analysis should identify all dependencies for key business activities, including suppliers, outsource partners, and other relevant interested parties.
In a recent report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), the lack of visibility throughout organisation’s supply chains and the resulting potential for disruption was highlighted with 75 percent of respondents reporting a lack of full visibility. This high percentage was also reflected in the potential for an incident with 75 percent of respondents being affected by at least one disruption in the supply chain during a 12 month period.
The Four Key Pillars of Supply Chain Resilience
- Business Continuity Management
- Information Security Management
- Logistics and Security Management
- Organisational Responsibility Management
Preparing for any eventuality is crucial to the ongoing success of an organisation. Considering what may happen and how that would be dealt with ensures the systems are in place to keep an organisation operating at a pre-defined level at all times.
SGS Product Manager for Business Continuity
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