Every day, unexpected events occur that have business continuity implications. July 18, 2007, was no different. On this seemingly normal Wednesday in Midtown Manhattan, a steam pipe exploded. At first glance (and despite the fact that the explosion was "photogenic" and therefore appeared in every news outlet), the situation appeared to have minimal business impact. However, a number of businesses were significantly and immediately impacted due to lost utilities and other city services. In many cases, employees were unable to reach their workplace (for up to three days in a number of situations).
On April 19, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism launched Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS.gov). This system, designed to help prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards by connecting emergency response providers and homeland security officials, serves as the Nation's online resource for lessons learned and best practices. LLIS.gov contains over 10,000 homeland security-related documents, including after-action reports, federal guidelines, best practices, standard and emergency operations plans, and many others.
Multi-national firms have a need to share information on their employees typically contained in BC plans that some data privacy and employment laws may prohibit from crossing borders. How can BC professionals ensure that their plans are complete and don't break the law?
In business continuity circles, risk management is a hot topic. Many business continuity professionals talk about integrating with enterprise risk management programs, wonder how to build bridges with risk managers in their organizations, and see risk management, business continuity, and related disciplines "converging" in the future. But what do risk managers think about their business continuity counterparts?
The statistics regarding corporate longevity are sobering: 600,000 American businesses filed for bankruptcy in just the last 10 years. Based on several independent studies, the conclusion is that corporations have a "life expectancy" of less than 50 years.
With employees in 35 countries worldwide, Citrix is pretty much everywhere. That global presence is at the heart of the company's business continuity and disaster recovery program. But while its reach is global, its headquarters is practically on the beach.
In May 2006, seasonal hurricane forecasters predicted 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes. In reality, the 2006 season ended with 10 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. There are several reasons for the bad 2006 forecasts. Let's look back at 2006 and ahead to 2007.
When you plan your work area space, make sure you anticipate not just day one needs, but also how end user requirements will change over time. Have a handle on the amount and configuration of space so that growth can occur without disrupting the recovery operation that is already in place.
Without exception, organizations leveraging BS 25999 are finding that the content is actionable and positioned to be understood by executive managers. And by evaluating and implementing the process recommendations found in BS 25999, business continuity management organizations are realizing higher levels of credibility with their executive management teams.
Compensation for business continuity professionals has been on the rise since 2003. In fact, 2006 showed the highest increases in compensation for full-time, permanent employees (FTEs) with an average of 7 percent. Last year also marked the first time that average total compensation surpassed $100,000 for FTEs.
Globally, the business continuity industry still lacks a common reference standard, but benchmarks and maturity models are emerging that will provide a framework for this type of communication. In the meantime, start by establishing controls within your organization - a central person or group should handle client and prospect requests. Speaking with one voice about your continuity program is as critical during normal business as it is during a disaster.
Eight Southeastern states are working together to improve how frail and elderly citizens are cared for during a major disaster. Leadership from the state emergency command centers and long term care (LTC) organizations in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina met at a May Hurricane Summit to improve how LTC needs are incorporated into disaster planning. Federal level representatives from FEMA, CMS, and HHS also participated, along with representatives from the AARP.
Executives are tasked more than ever with running businesses that must operate around the clock. Every company is facing the onslaught of global economic volatility, fierce competition, customer churn, waves of regulatory compliance issues, and rising security concerns that add to the information availability issues.
While there's no silver bullet, there are some characteristics that successful professionals share. Documenting these behaviors is intended to fuel your self-reflection, thought process, and discussion among friends and colleagues with the ultimate goal of motivating you to become an even more effective contingency planning professional.
On April 22, I went on a two-and-a-half hour bus tour called the "Road to Recovery" through the areas of New Orleans that were most devastated by Hurricane Katrina, including the Lower 9th Ward, Lakeview, and Bernard Parish. The tour was offered as part of the 2007 Continuity Insights Management Conference. Things are slowly getting better, even from when I was there this past January.