How to pass the test of time – embed Business Continuity | Tim Marjason

Top Threats in Middle East and North Africa is of Cyber attack which is generally seen as the biggest threat for most corporate organizations. Unplanned IT and various others risks are faced by organizations. There is a risk in every organization which cause the organization to not perform to its full potential.

Potential Risks to your organization

General societal and governmental risks are common to affect the organizations as well like hacking, fire, bad weather, floods, sand storms, staff unrest movements, etc.

When we face disruptions in businesses, things we must consider are: revenues/profits as we might lose some money, reputation for insurance, relationship, plans, etc are all potential consequences of disruptions. Without any continuity plans in places, small business mostly fail and never recover from these disruptions.

Risk by Definition

It is the effect of uncertainty on objectives, which could be a negative/positive deviation from what is expected. We don’t want the risk to become an issue; we try to mitigate it by placing in business continuity plans in actions.

Purpose of Risk Management

Help identify threats to your organization, risk in organization’s assets, determine organizational exposure to potential loss, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of controls and safeguards, agree key disaster scenarios and implement required levels of control.

Benefits of Risk Management

It reduce the likelihood of disruptions to your organization, it shortens the time frame of disruptions and its impact over organization’s key products and services.

Business Continuity

There are many causes that lead to disruptions and risk occurring. In business continuity plans we look for the consequences of these disruptions in terms of people, infrastructure, supply chain, IT failures, communication failure and staff absence as well.

Business Continuity (BC) is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.

Disaster Recovery

It usually refers to the technology recovery efforts, includes computing resources, servers, data systems, applications, networks and telecoms. It’s a component of BC Management Program and not BC.

Benefits of Business Continuity Management

  •  It reduces frequency o f business disruptions and mitigates their effects.
  •  It integrates and aligns with activates across the organization to deliver improved financial performance.
  •  Can help protect against claims and reduce losses
  •  Support and enhance log term business models
  •  Improve daily operations and provide safeguard to organization’s reputation and brand image.
  •  Bring benefits to entire board, thus enhancing performance, resilience and profitability.
  •  It involves all departments
  •  Brings integration across all organization:
    • Cross functional, agile and adaptive
    • Plan, do, act, check cycle to bring system of continuous improvements.
    • The BCI good practice bottom lines: GPG ‘Life Cycle’
      • BCM Program management
      • Understanding the organization
      • Developing BCM strategies
      • Developing and implementing BCM response
      • Exercise the plans
      • Embedding BCM culture.

Business Impact Analysis:

Is all about helping us in identifying:

  • Critical functions/processes
  • Determine the maximum acceptable outage
  • Identify the key products and services
  • The impact of an outage
  • Identify inter/intra and external dependencies

Strategic support and commitment for BCM

  • Resources
  • Rising awareness
  • Competencies
  • Roadmap and communication for employees
  • Documented strategies, policies, etc.

Embedding BCM

  • BCM should be made part of day to day expectations
  • Make BCM the part of core values of organization
  • Make it part of appraisals.
  • Develop evaluation system for your BCM

Business can often withstand a crisis and may not be able to deal with it effectively. But they have the money, insurance, expertise, and plans in place to deal with disruptions at all levels, if they have a proper BCM management programs in place.


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