When put to the test, most business continuity plans fail to meet their basic minimum objectives. The missing link may be a lack of focus on the fundamental social factors that affect managers and employees decisions concerning theri commitment to their job and work place.
The International Association of Fire Chief (IAFC), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, recently convened the "Third Annual Conference on Strengthening the Public Safety Response to Terrorism and Other Hazards." Here's what happened.
The resulting paper reports figures consistent with other industry surveys. Nearly 70 percent of organizations have a business continuity plan, and about the same amount feel prepared or very prepared to recover their data centers. But while nearly 100 percent of respondents said it was very important or important to be able to recover their workforces, only 25 percent of feel that they are very prepared to do so.
An effective business continuity and availability (BC&A) plan must encompass more than just disaster recovery (DR) and be adequately tested. Recently, HP commissioned a survey about organizations' business continuity and availability plans. The responses revealed that approximately 90 percent of companies have business continuity and availability plans in place, yet only 26 percent regularly update and test those plans. The good news is that companies largely recognize the importance of planning, and that there are clear planning, implementation and management steps they can take to ensure that their plans are successful.
I am extremely excited about this year's conference," says Continuity Insights Executive Publisher Bob Nakao. "This, our fifth conference, is truly the best yet." The conference, which will be held April 23-25, 2007, at the Sheraton New Orleans, is themed Resiliency Redefined.
Without the right people to develop, implement, and roll out your program, your organization could be left in the lurch during a time of crisis. Working with human resources or as a hiring manager, you will need to understand your organization, team, and BC program requirements and use these as a benchmark to evaluate the candidates you are recruiting, interviewing, and - ultimately - hiring.
Constellation Energy's (CE) enterprise-wide business continuity program (BCP) is a dynamic program that is truly part of the corporate culture. From the chairman's office to the board of directors (who are updated annually), BCP has strong support and sponsorship from all of senior management. That kind of senior level support can be tough to find. But according to Director of Business Continuity Bob Cornelius, CE's CEO actually came looking for him.
An effective continuity program is not a project with a beginning and an end, but must be addressed as a living process where it is supported through rigorous management processes and evolves over time through the change management process.
With 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and tsunamis keeping business continuity issues in the public consciousness, we as business continuity professionals are more conscious than ever of the magnitude of disruption and damage that an unforeseen and unexpected catastrophic event can cause.
Business continuity planning began with technology people recognizing the need to plan to recover technology. While we've progressed beyond that in our profession, we still haven't reached the point where we plan for full business recovery.
As vulnerabilities and risks rose, the public became more aware of the business continuity industry and now may even have some faint idea of what a business continuity professional does. Threats such as Y2K, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and fear of pandemics put business continuity on the media's - and therefore the public's - map. Business continuity professional even recently made it into CNNMoney.com's list of "7 trendy new jobs".
Senior executives want the best for the organization; theywant to understand the technology underpinning itssuccess. They understand you know your business, butthey often don't quite understand how what you do fits into the organization's global view. DR/BC professionals tend to work too deep in the trenches to sufficiently bridge the gap between redundancy and fiscal responsibility.
Business Continuity, resiliency, high-availability, zero acceptable downtime those are the industry buzzwords and watchwords of today. But what about disaster recovery? While the phrase may scream "old timer", disasters do still happen and you still need to be ready to revover if your plans fail or are overwhelmed.
ORECK may be a household word, but it's still a fairly small, family-owned, family-run company. When ORECK was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, it's family focus, with emphasis on trust and responsibility, brought the company from the brink of disaster back to continued business success.
Hurricane Katrina took many companies by surprise by severing all normal lines of communication. For more than a week after the hurricane, many organizations had no access to phone, e-mail, the Internet, or wireless networks. Likewise, many empl...