I define resiliency as the integration of disaster recovery, business continuity, security, and production high availability. When the industry got its start in the late 1970s, disaster recovery was the responsibility of the data center manager and/or the systems software manager. Many of us got our start in continuity in that way; I know I did.
Starting in the July/August issue of Continuity Insights magazine, Editorial Advisory Board member Brian Zawada will be hosting a column titled "Great Ideas". The column will spotlight key issues facing our industry, and most importantly, proven, effective and creative solutions employed by organizations that have successfully eliminated these challenges.
In the 1899 classic, A Message to Garcia, Elbert Hubbard described the travails of Rowan, a soldier with the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. Rowan is tasked by President McKinley to deliver a message to General Garcia who is somewhere on the island of Cuba. After an arduous and danger-filled three-week journey, Rowan does in fact deliver the message and re-emerges on the other side of the island a success.
Since World War II, numerous changes in the workplace have resulted from policies seeking to increase safety. Initially, it was physical safety in an effort to cut down on accidents and injuries. Safety harnesses, steel-toed boots, hard hats, and other equipment migrated into the work environment with dramatic effect. At first, safety equipment was voluntary, but rapidly it became mandatory.
Today, business-level issues including risk management, compliance, and security, and the need for business preparedness in the context of a constantly evolving threat environment, are elevating the importance of disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) as a business, and not just IT, priority.
Results of the 2007 Continuity Insights/KPMG Business Continuity Management Benchmarking Study are in. And while the data doesn't reveal giant leaps forward, it does show enterprises taking baby steps toward the finish line, robust business continuity programs that address strategic interdependencies with other stakeholders.
When Allianz, one of the world's largest insurance companies, decided to get into the asset management business, it acquired asset management companies all over the world and united them under the Allianz Global Investors (AGI) umbrella. It was, and still is, Frank Garafolo's job to bring together their business continuity plans in an organized and efficient manner.
For some time now, we in the business continuity profession have read and heard countless dissertations on how to develop and calculate a positive return on investment (ROI) to justify the business continuity planning effort within our companies. I believe it is time to get rid of the smoke and put the mirrors back in the cabinet in order to look at this question in a slightly different manner.
When you think BNP Paribas, you think big bank, big money, big business. You can add to that list big heart. The sixth largest bank in the world, BNP takes BCP seriously. But its business continuity team does more than ensure money moves and regulatory requirements are met. Four New Orleans fire companies, two New Orleans schools, and an entire New York City community have benefited from the banks deep pockets and deep commitment to doing good. Here's how.
Having been in this great industry of continuity and recovery for almost 30 years, I have seen many trends evolve, or come and go. One of those trends, which seems to have firmly planted itself, is the trend towards organizations migrating from a shared recovery solution to one that utilizes internal or dedicated, but in all cases, non-shared resources.
Elevating employees is the most overlooked responsibility in staff management. With tight deadlines and a full plate of responsibilities, managers tend to bypass this important point, especially when the company as a whole doesn't understand or embrace the concept.
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.