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20 March 2013 | Anna Reynolds
Companies have been urged to implement business continuity strategies to strengthen their ability to respond to opportunities as well as deal with threats.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) says there is “huge potential” for organisations to benefit from business continuity management (BCM) – a risk mitigation tool to ensure the continued operation of a business if faced with unexpected events and adversity.
Marking the beginning of Business Continuity Awareness Week, which runs from 19-23 March, BSI global business continuity expert Lorna Anderson said: “Companies need to be braver and recognise the broader benefits that BCM can bring. Any organisation that has an acute understanding of business risks, a solid back-up plan and tried and tested processes already in place is going to be well positioned to propel its business forwards.”
Research carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) for the BSI among 637 managers found 81 per cent of organisations with a BCM plan in place said it reduced disruption and that the cost to develop the plan is offset by the business benefits it brings.
“This suggests that agile companies which put in place effective management processes and structured continuity plans, have the flexibility to respond to challenges and are not only more likely to survive, but in many cases grow,” said Anderson.
The BSI recommended the following tips to encourage business growth:
* Review which suppliers are critical to your operations and ensure they have BCM arrangements in place and are able to meet your increasing procurement requirements.
* Identify any threats and weaknesses in the business and eliminate them. This will allow the organisation to focus on growth and development.
* Adopt a common framework, such as the international standard for business continuity management, ISO 22301.
* Recognise disruption can be caused by a wide range of factors – both positive and negative - so make sure you understand what you need to do as an organisation to maintain or ramp up the delivery of critical services or products following an unexpected event.