IT and operational risk management are becoming critically important functions in every company. This is a result of increasing vulnerability and threat activity as well as the legal, regulatory, and business exposures tied to those threats. Organizations have struggled for decades to get a firm handle on risk, so that they could shift from a model of "experience and react" to one of "anticipate and adjust". Technology is at the core of both the problem and the solution.
Everyone is talking about a pandemic these days. If "avian influenza" or "bird flu" mutates into a form that can be transmitted from human to human, we may see the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic that sickened between 20 and 40 percent of the worldwide population and killed more than 500,000 people in the U.S. alone.
Our last issue included a feature on the new BCP catch-phrase: workforce continuity. The article asked whether the term is useful - or just more clutter in an already croweded lexicon - and if "workplace continuity" tactics woudl really work. In addition to interviewing industry experts, we asked you, our readers, to share your opinions about workforce continuity. Here's what you had to say.
With a former Navy submariner leading its enterprise business continuity team, BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina has a ship shape program that emphasizes responsibility, viability, and plain old common sense.
Strategic Integrity Continuity: Managing the Risks for Corporate Integrity in the Post-Enron Business WorldOctober 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Robert C. Chandler Ph.D., Chair Communication Division | Comments
The corporate ethics scandals of the past decade have demonstrated that misconduct can disrupt or destroy companies. The increased regulatory scrutiny and potential punitive sanctions for misconduct have raised the stakes for senior management, corporate executives, and boards of directors. It is time to come to terms with the stark reality that corporate integrity and the ethical resiliency of your company must be considered an aspect of strategic continuity planning.
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.