Your Organisation has Business Continuity and Resilience – But What About You?

DRI ANZ

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Sometimes we concentrate so hard on overall resilience and business continuity that we neglect another vital aspect – the resilience of individuals in the organisation. While it’s true that there is often a positive spill-over from enterprise to employee, people need attention just as much as processes. Resilient people are better able to plan, execute and manage crises if they have to. Take a look at the list of characteristics below. If you think about how these points could be applied at a personal as well as at an organisational level, you’ll already be a big step ahead.

  • Keep a sense of perspective. Business continuity planning gives you simple and effective methods to measure risk and decide priorities, methods individual can apply for themselves too.
  • Set goals, go after them and leverage successes. Building resilience in an enterprise is often a case of setting manageable, achievable goals, and getting increasing support as each one is met. The same works for your personal goals too.
  • Make the effort to communicate well. Communication skills can be learnt if you feel you don’t quite have them at the moment. The better you communicate BC objectives and results to your colleagues, the more resilience you’ll build up personally too – a mutually reinforcing cycle.
  • Follow good advice you have given to others. Whether it’s good BC practices for staying in business or healthy eating for staying in shape, you owe it to yourself to ‘walk the talk’ too.
  • Consider change as part of life. Nothing stays the same. Nothing ever has. Life is change. When you accept that notion, you’re already half-way to managing it.
  • Act decisively. Use information, use tools, communicate with others to get points of view, decide on a plan and do it (get any third-party support you need as well). If you make mistakes, accept that this is always a risk and handle them effectively. But with the resilience checklist above, you’ll probably be making fewer mistakes anyway.

Making Business Continuity Management the Bearer of Good News

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Business continuity management depends on good risk management. That’s a term that resonates with senior management because enterprises and organisations are constantly exposed to risk. So presenting BCM as a way to reduce or even eliminate the negative consequences is often a way to attract the attention of departmental heads and C-level directors. However, as marketers and sales people will tell you, once you have senior management’s attention, you need to build up the interest and move them to action. You could continue pounding home the message about potential damage, but is this most effective way of getting management to act by visibly supporting and implementing BCM?

The fact is that good business continuity management brings opportunity for upside as well as helping to avoid possible downside. Statistics about business failures may get people to listen at first. But BCM done well protects an organisation from all of this. So it’s more of a challenge to get your colleagues to appreciate all the dire problems that BCM has helped them avoid. On the other hand, if you can point to areas where BCM brings positive benefit, you can further reinforce enthusiasm. Of course, you can use a mix of both the positive and the negative to play both angles.

So what are these positive benefits that BCM can offer? They include cost savings (a dollar saved is a dollar earned) on bank loans and insurance premiums, as well as increases in customer loyalty and competitive advantage when bidding for new business. This requires presenting BCM in its best light (talk to your marketing colleagues) so as to bring out key points of interest to your senior management. Then by adding up the various advantages in terms of money saved and business won, you’ll be able to put a figure on what BCM contributes to the organisation to earn money, and not just what it costs to stay safe.

KL2014 Featured Speaker: Murari Kalyanaramani

The DRI KL2014 Regional Conference and Awards of Excellence will be held in Grand Millennium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme this year “Managing Crisis and Organizational Resilience – Issues and Challenges” will feature a comprehensive program that includes a pool of variety speakers from different industry and countries, who will share on emerging threats and issues that we face today.

In preparation for the conference, Thrive! Asia is featuring the topics and profiles of select speakers.

Murari Kalyanaramani, CBCP

Murari Kalyanaramani, CBCP
Global Head of Service Architecture & Integration, British American Tobacco (BAT) (Malaysia)
Topic: Business Continuity Management – IT Opportunities and Challenges

Murari is a seasoned IT & Information Risk Management professional with over 14 years experience in Information Security Management, Business Continuity Management and, Outsourcing & Supplier Management.

He is currently Global Head of Service Architecture & Integration for British American Tobacco responsible for IT Services Strategy, Service Design & Transition, Supplier Management, Global Software Asset Management and IT Process, Risk and Compliance Management. Murari was previously Global Head of IT Security Services for BAT responsible for Enterprise IT Security Management, IT Security Operations , Identity & Access Management . The role included managing business continuity governance over strategic IT outsourced service providers.

Prior to joining BAT, Murari was attached to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia where he was the Lead Manager for the Information Assurance and Threat & Vulnerability Management (TVM) group. During his stint in PwC, he delivered and managed numerous Information Security, Business Continuity, Business Process & Systems Assurance and Third Party Assurance Services engagements for clients in various industries including the government sector.

7 Basic Ways to Ensure Good Business Continuity Planning

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Smart business continuity planners regularly return to the basics. Although BCP can be complex if a particular situation makes it so, good plans are still built on solid and simple foundations. By keeping these in mind, BC planners can avoid straying from the straight and narrow path that must be followed if business continuity is to be guaranteed.

  1. Cover all areas. Even if IT is often a large part of BCP, it’s not the only part. All functional departments must be considered, as well as all sites including headquarters and branch offices.
  2. Check inputs and outputs. If a key supplier breaks down or if your distribution network fails, only good business continuity plan that includes these external factors will save you.
  3. Focus on handling outcomes. While it’s important to prevent a problem from happening again, it’s the effect that will have an immediate impact on your business. Trying to identify every possible individual incident leads to unmanageable detail. Plan to handle the effect first (different problems can have the same effect) to ensure continuity. Then eradicate the cause.
  4. Write it down. Or type it out at your PC. You need a document you can refer to and copy to the relevant people so that it is available to them at all times.
  5. Test it. You should make the most realistic test possible without upsetting (too much) the daily working of your organisation. But you must test. An untested plan is incomplete.
  6. Plan for the media. If a crisis hits and your organisation must react to ensure its continuity, the public and the media may want details about what is happening. Designate the right people to communicate with the media and make sure everybody else refers the media to those individuals.
  7. Update it. Business continuity planning needs periodic revision and continuing attention. Like getting your car serviced and watering your plants! Define a review cycle (every six months perhaps) and note the action you must take in your agenda – and in the agenda of all other required participants in the BCP review process.

Sharing Knowledge and Increasing Awareness with DRI India

DRI India has recently successfully conducted a conference in Hyderabad, India.  The theme of the day was “knowledge grows through sharing” and we were proud to see that participants were indeed able to develop through the sharing of ideas and experiences.

We look forward to our upcoming conference in Hyderabad and many more in the future.

You may view pictures of the event please visit our Global Networking Gallery.

Will These 4 Trends Affect Your Disaster Recovery?

DRI ANZ

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Disaster recovery has already come a long way since the early days. Back in the 1970s, IT systems were mainframe and batch-oriented, with downtime (grudgingly) accepted of a few hours or even a few days. Since then technological advances have led to big changes in DR management. In addition, the Internet catalysed significant social changes that in turn had impacts on the way IT is used. As a result, expectations have changed from the availability of systems to the way information is communicated about problem resolution. Do the following trends now need to be integrated into your own DR planning?

  1. Geographical distancing of disaster recovery facilities. Separate DR recovery sites are a requirement for many organizations. But ‘next building’ solutions don’t protect businesses against area floods, fires or storms. Cloud backup solutions may be a good solution for mitigating this risk.
  2. Geographical limitation of DR. Sounds like a contradiction to the point above? Not really – this is about the need for many entities to now ensure their data do not move out of the same country. Somewhere between too close and too far, the right geographical separation will have to be found.
  3. Use of managed DR services. Increases in speed, size, conformance and complexity are pushing DR beyond the capabilities of many organisations. The entire DR process may be better done by specialized, reliable third party providers. Savings on in-house infrastructure and staff training may also make such managed DR services more cost-effective.
  4. Social media for communications management in DR situations. If your customers, prospects and employees are all constantly online and in touch via social networks, they’ll expect that from your company too. Email and notices on websites are a start, but micro-blogging with viral distribution (Twitter for example) is the ‘gold standard’ for good crisis and DR status information today.

These are some of the bigger waves washing over industry and government. And each sector also has its own specific needs. What have you been putting in place recently – and what positive effects have you seen so far?

KL2014 Featured Speaker: Alan Sebastian

The DRI KL2014 Regional Conference and Awards of Excellence will be held in Grand Millennium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme this year “Managing Crisis and Organizational Resilience – Issues and Challenges” will feature a comprehensive program that includes a pool of variety speakers from different industry and countries, who will share on emerging threats and issues that we face today.

In preparation for the conference, Thrive! Asia is featuring the topics and profiles of select speakers.

Alan Sebastian, CBCP, CBCV

Alan Sebastian, CBCP, CBCV
Managing Partner of Business Continuity Program Management (United States)
Topic: Crisis Communication – Issues and Challenges

Mr. Sebastian has over 25 years’ experience designing, developing and implementing Business Continuity Plans for various industries including many Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Mr. Sebastian led the development of the Business Continuity Practice within Paranet and then Sprint Corporation resulting in Disaster Recovery Institute’s certification of more than 85 colleagues over a period of five years. Mr. Sebastian’s Business Continuity Planning methodology and framework achieved a best-in-class award from a Fortune 100 corporation. He has extensive experience in leading the design, planning, sourcing and delivery of business continuity programs. Mr. Sebastian is also a management and technology professional with over twenty-five years’ experience in numerous industries including – telecommunications, healthcare, finance, legal, and energy.