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Gill Blog

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Simple Awareness or Systems that Work in a Crisis

There are some lessons to be taken from the UK experience. A recent report in This is London, coming out of a recent Business Continuity Planning conference in England, gives us the following observations:

A London Resilience spokesman said: 'There has been considerable activity to promote the need for businesses to have continuity plans in place and to regularly test them. After 30 years of terrorism, London's key organisations and major businesses have tried-and-tested arrangements and a high level of preparedness against conventional major incidents. Considerable work is being done to ensure that such a level of preparedness is in place to handle any catastrophic incident.'

Rob Fountain, chief executive officer of Survive, the user group of staff responsible for the security and business continuity of multinationals and public sector bodies, agrees. 'It's a split community. Half the businesses from our surveys have some form of reasonably high-level business continuity plan in place. Most of the rest have a limited amount of disaster recovery planning,' he said.

'A lot of companies bury their heads in the sand and hope if it comes to the worst they will find a way round it, or that if there is a problem the police and local authorities will deal with it. But none of these organisations is in business to protect the reputation, the assets and the very existence of your business.'

Do some executives in North America similarly expect the government not only to protect them from catastrophic events but to restore their companies and even to ensure business continuity? Is planning for business continuity the responsibility of Homeland Security or the Board of Directors?


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