Be prepared for BCM
A successful business continuity management strategy hinges on preparation and knowledge, says the Business Continuity Institute.
"Make sure you properly understand how the business actually works."
This is the most important piece of advice Lyndon Bird, technical director of the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), has for those attempting to implement a successful, enterprise-wide business continuity management (BCM) programme.
"Know who the key players are, whose opinions are sought and listened to, what the real business success drivers are, and what top management really worries about.
"Prepare, prepare and prepare before you communicate. Build awareness programmes, but get your message right when you give presentations. The people you need on your side are not interested in technical solutions. They want to know about business risks and potential opportunities," he adds.
Bird believes the biggest hurdle facing BCM professionals is changing the mindset of people both inside the profession and outside it. "We have too many programme managers and auditors and not enough innovative thinking in the BCM world. So the effective growth in the idea of business resiliency does give us a chance to articulate a wider strategic vision for the discipline. Thinking up practical solutions for issues that do not easily fit the old model of physical disruption to buildings or premises is a real challenge. Cyber resiliency is high on this agenda, as is reputational damage through social media."
Bird will present on 'Improving organisation resilience - the real justification for business continuity' at the third annual ITWeb business resilience event, to be held in Johannesburg in August.
Business resilience, he says, is about the capability of an organisation to respond to and adapt itself to change in its external circumstances, such as civil war in a key supplier country. "In some ways, it is difficult to highlight companies who are good at resilience, because by definition they will be the ones that handle problems, major incidents and even crises almost seamlessly. In the UK, for example, I am impressed by the work of Vodafone, Royal Mail, Zurich Insurance, Network Rail and BP. The common thread to all of these programmes is the way that they bring together the various resilience functions - security, risk, crisis management, BCM, cyber security and governance - rather than working in isolation."
Bird will join other international and local BCM influencers at the upcoming ITWeb Business Resilience 2014 conference to address the challenges facing local BCM professionals. Click here to find out more and register for the event.