Don't gamble with BCM
Governance of enterprise IT (GEIT) and business continuity management (BCM) should never be a gamble.
This was the word from Carl Kruger, lead in Deloitte's IT governance, IT risk and IT service management department, speaking during the ITWeb Business Continuity 2013 Summit yesterday.
Kruger believes organisations should view IT governance and BCM as enablers of business. "If your strategy is not enabling BCM, then you have failed already," he said. "IT governance, similar to BCM, is pervasive and forms part of strategic and operational enterprise objectives."
He noted that top management must manage GEIT as part of enterprise governance.
"They must also realise that IT and business activities cannot be separated; similarly, business continuity and IT continuity cannot be separated. GEIT implementation and, similarly, BCM, need to be managed as a programme, have executive sponsorship, and have attainable objectives."
For Kruger, a GEIT strategy should ensure that all BCM stakeholder requirements are addressed and should ensure inclusion of BCM requirements within the enterprise.
BCM should be an integral part of enterprise and IT governance, and the overarching objective should be protecting stakeholder value, he said. Just as GEIT focuses on value delivery and mitigating IT-related risk, he explained, BCM focuses on continuity of value delivery to stakeholders. "The extent of BCM as a practice should be clearly understood by the enterprise."
He urged companies to adopt a BCM culture, saying certain values and behaviours contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an enterprise.
"In creating a BCM culture, organisations must define and continually communicate core BCM values and ensure awareness on enterprise BCM values equally among staff and clients. Executives and management should lead by example, following core values, and management should empower staff to be creative and should reward innovation."
After creating the culture, Kruger said enterprises should strive for continual improvement of the system. "Continual improvement should not focus on fixing errors, repairing faults, correcting problems, sorting issues or building workarounds.
"Continual improvement drives an organisation to be both analytical and creative in finding ways to become more competitive and more effective at meeting stakeholder expectations," he explained.
According to Kruger, one of the best ways to formalise BCM, improve executive oversight and set direction of enterprise BCM activities, is to establish a BCM committee.