Information availability-or, an organization's ability to maintain connections between people and their most critical applications and systems-is no less necessary or complex for small- and medium-sized businesses than it is for their larger counterparts.
There were so many storms this season that all names on the list were exhausted and the Greek alphabet was used for the first time. The 2005 hurricane season will be remembered as one of the costliest and most deadly on record.
Tracking down employees, activating redundant systems, and gaining site access for initial damage reports was just the beginning.Many companies affected by the 2005 hurricane season are still in the cleanup and recovery phase. However, some business continuity managers are beginning to examine what worked, what didn't, and the lessons they learned.
We have anticipated this homecoming for two months," says Charles "Chuck" P. Adams, Jr., managing partner. "Our New Orleans attorneys and staff are anxious to return home - to the people, sights and sounds of New Orleans." According to Adams, the firm's "regional footprint," supported by a detailed business recovery plan encompassing communications, technology and human resources, allowed it to continue operations following Hurricane Katrina, almost without interruption.
Despite the devastation and loss, something good came out of Hurricane Katrina. In the days following the disaster, business continuity was being covered and taken seriously by mainstream media. You may have seen John Copenhaver of DRI International on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CSPAN.
ABN AMRO is an international bank with European roots and a clear focus on consumer and commercial banking. ABN AMRO's business continuity plans have a clear focus on communicating in a crisis. Jack Smith, first vice president of business continuity and crisis management, has been with the ABN AMRO business continuity team for five years. Smith spent the previous eight years in the company's IT department. According to Smith, the switch was a natural transition. I was always involved in technology and was asked to help out with the Y2K project, he says. As that was winding down, I moved on to business continuity. Smith and the business continuity team are responsible for the company's North American operations, which are headquartered in Chicago, IL.
In the quest for quicker recovery times, continuous availability, and resilient infrastructures, companies are working to conduct more realistic business continuity and disaster recovery audits, tabletop tests, and full-scale drills. Here's what's happening at Vanguard.
No one expects a disaster to happen to them. Yet if one does, would your company survive? Gartner Group estimates that 43 percent of businesses fail within five years following a major disaster and 29 percent fail within the first two to four months.
There is no doubt the business continuity and disaster recovery field cut its teeth in the technology world, principally in white collar environments. Banks and other financial institutions have led the way, and more recently insurance companies, call centers, and outsourcers have participated in business continuity planning in far greater numbers than the manufacturing sector.
Recent events-ranging from natural disasters to terrorism-mean that the visibility of business continuity has never been greater. Opportunities for business continuity professionals have increased dramatically, but competition for jobs is also on the rise. What can an individual do to get a leg up on the competition and advance his or her career?
Carlisle, Richardson, and O'Neill are the historic spirits of today's continuity professional. Like them, we find ourselves pitted against human nature. While most people might accept that bad things can happen, few believe they actually will. That leaves us with a daunting task. How do we convince people to divert time and resources away from concerns they see as central to their success to prepare for something they do not believe will happen?
While the world watches Indian Ocean tsunami survivors continue to rebuild and provides aid to ease the burden, BCP managers are also taking action. Increasing reports warning that 50-foot tsunamis could hit Southern California and 80-foot tsunamis could wash away the coastline from New York to Florida sparked interest and corporate awareness. Since the June 14 tsunami warning in the Pacific Northwest, more companies and government agencies along the coast are working to distribute pamphlets, install beach sirens, and update or install early warning systems.
Business Continuity should be designed as an integral part of an organization's migration to access infrastructure. Planning for access significantly reduces the complexity and cost of implementing a business continuity solution while elevating the probability of its success.
Is it necessary for professionals working in the field to expand the concept of organizational continuity to not only include but to prioritize the human factor. Many crisis managers and organizational planners have learned by experience that it is often easier to recover IT than to recover HT.
The bigger the risk, the harder it is to plan to deal with it. BCP is most difficult for hazards that can cause effects that are terminal, irreversible, and present the greatest peril to s-as individuals, corporations, communities, or society at large. The very size and potential of these major risks is compelling, yet we remain strangely powerless when actually faced with them.